Skip to main content

Full text of "Poets of the John Company"

See other formats

'////>,.// . '/ // // 

uVM*'**'^''-?" ' 








Poets of John Company 

selected and arranged 

Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt 



W. THACKER & CO., 2. Creed Lane, E.C 


Printed by 















A Persian Song 


A Hymn to Narayena 



The Letters of Simpkin 



The Art of Living in India . . 

.. 11 


John Company 

.. 13 


Ode to an Indian Gold Coin . . 

.. 15 

The Battle of Assaye 

.. 16 

Address to My Malay Krees . . 

.. 18 

Verses written at Sagur Island 

.. 19 


Calcutta : a Poem . . 

.. 21 


The Adventures of Qui Hi . . 

.. 25 


A Letter from Shigram-Po . . 

.. 28 


Lines to Mrs. Heber 

.. 31 

An Evening Walk in Bengal . . 

.. 32 


On the Abolition of Sattee . . 

.. 35 


Tom Raw the Griffin 

.. 37 




Ode to a Punkah . . . . . . . . 41 


Starboard Watch, Ahoy! .. .. ..43 


Lines Written on the Death of Leyden . . . . 44 

Song on the Battle of Assaye . . . . 45 


A Scene in the Doab . . . . . . 47 


Indian Revelry . . . . . . . . 49 

The Jogi's Address to the Ganges . . . . 51 

The Rajpoot's Lament . . . . . . 53 


The Mosquito's Song . . . . . . 56 


The Pindaree . . . . • • . . 59 


The Ganges . . . . • • . . 61 


The Late Mr. Simms , . . . . . 66 

Calcutta Stanzas for May . . . . . . 69 

The Adjutant Bird . . . . . . 71 

The Mussulman's Lament . . • . . . 75 

The Return from India . . . . . . 7(> 


Lines on David Hare . . . . . . 78 

To Laha Pennoo . . . . . • . . 79 

To Bera Pennoo . . . . • . . . 81 

The Final Toast . . . . . . . . 82 


The Adjutant and the Crow . . .,-. ..84 


The Bumper of Claret . . . . • • 86 

A Ballad . . . . • • . . 87 



Lines on Recovering from Sickness 

The Chee-Chee Ball 


The Suppliant Dove . ., 

The Rains . . . ., 


Clive's Dream before Plassey 
Drinking no Sin . . . ., 

The Song of Kalindi 
The Song of the Koil 


The Land of Regrets 
The Old Pindaree . . 

A Lay of Lachen . . 


The Successful Competitor — 1863 
Tw^enty O'CIock . . 
Promotion by Merit 
On a Station in Lower Bengal 
The Successful Competitor — 1873 


Three Hunting Songs 

A Note on " Starboard Watch, Ahoy !" 












THE original plan of this book provided for a collection 
of verse written in India by Englishmen from the earliest days 
of the British occupation up to our own time; and such a 
collection was actually made. To all who expressed their 
willingness to allow specimens of their work to appear, I 
would take this opportunity of expressing my grateful thanks. 
Two main difficulties — the trouble and expense of copyright, 
and the impossibility of producing a large work at a reason- 
able rate under post-war conditions of publication — have 
compelled the limitation of the scope of this anthology. 

The poems here reproduced illustrate Anglo-Indian life 
(old style) from the close of the eighteenth century up to and 
including the period of the Mutiny: but sharp chronological 
limits have not been observed. The Leviora would fall 
beyond this period; but in spirit and in form this famous 
production is so reminiscent of the age of John Company that 
it makes an adequate conclusion to all the preceding verse. 
Unfortunately the law of copyright forbids the reproduction 
of any of Sir Edwin Arnold's work ; but an attempt has been 
made in the introduction to recognize the range and quality 
of his poetry of oriental life. 

For permission to include the three poems of Sir Alfred 
Lyall I am indebted to Messrs. Routledge. Mr. Ernest 
Bignold has been generous in permitting me to draw upon 
the Leviora; and Messrs. Lahiri have kindly allowed me to 
reprint Colman Macaulay's Lay of Lachen, which appeared 
originally in Indian Pandits in the Land of Snow, a pamphlet 
by Sarat Chandra Das. Lovers of the Himalaya will welcome 
this reproduction of an oft-quoted but rarely pro- 
curable poem. The omission of verse written by 
Indians is due to the fact that the modern school 
of poetry in India, heralded by the promise of 


Toru Dutt's genius, lies wholly outwith the scheme of this 
book. All the best of this poetry that belongs to the period 
of John Company I have already reproduced in The Bengali 
Book of English Verse published by Messrs. Longman. 

In dealing with the periodical literature of the first half 
of last century, Mr. S. C. Sanial, the Secretary of the Calcutta 
Historical Society, has freely put his wide and accurate 
knowledge at my disposal. Mr. J. A. Chapman of the Imperial 
Library has given much assistance in looking out forgotten 
volumes, and has helped with references to the catalogues 
of libraries outside of Calcutta. Mr. W. I. Keir has generously 
provided the anthology with its artistic cover; and Mr. C. F. 
Hooper has taken the responsibility of publishing a book that, 
from a commercial point of view, may not be considered much 
of a venture. To his enthusiasm for the literature produced 
in India by our countrymen, the " Poets of John Company " 
are indebted for their present resurrection. 

T. 0.. D. D. 

United Service Club, 

Calcutta, November, 1921. 


NO complete anthology of verse written by Englishmen in 
India has ever been compiled; and the reason is not far to 
seek. Those writers who have achieved distinction have won 
for themselves a permanent place in the records of English, 
literature. No history of our poetry will neglect the names 
of Bishop Heber and of Sir Edwin Arnold. Those writers who 
have failed to secure such recognition have been forgotten; 
and their published works, no longer in circulation, have 
become the hobby of the bibliophile and the collector. 

Three attempts have been made to rescue from neglect our 
English poets in India. Captain David Lester Richardson, who 
was on the staff of Lord William Bentinck, added, as tan 
appendix to his Selections from the British Poets, several 
specimens of the poetry then produced in Bengal. This work 
was published in 1840. By that time the amount 
of this poetry was not inconsiderable ; and Richardson 
contrived to bring together some eighteen names- 
including his own. The specimens of the verse select- 
ed, if not of the highest order, are full of interest. 
This is the first anthology of Anglo-Indian poetry; and for its 
time it was the best. Richardson also compiled and edited The 
Bengal Annual, a collection of prose and verse that appeared 
on seven occasions ; and much of the poetry of these annuals he 
included in his Selections from the British Poets. The work of 
Thomas Philip Manuel, who in 1861 published in Calcutta 
The Poetry of our Indian Poets, does not extend appreciably the 
range of Richardson's collection. The poems of this book are 
few in number and have been unskilfully chosen; but there are 
brief introductory biographies of the authors, and these are useful 
to the investigator. In 1868, Thomas Benson Laurence 
published his English Poetry in India, being biographical and 
critical notices of Anglo-Indian poets zvith copious extracts from 
their zvritings. This work ranks with that of Manuel, and is of 


equal value to the student. While these three publications show 
a certain interest in the poetry written by Englishmen in India, 
the date of their production makes them useless for the modern 
reader. The work of Richardson is inaccessible; and, if the 
anthologies of Manuel and Laurence were now available, they 
have been so badly produced and so inadequately edited, 
that for all save the lover of the curious, they are utterly 
without value. 

The reader who desires some acquaintance with the poetry 
produced by Englishmen in India during the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries has no conveniently single book 
of reference. Unless he is prepared to spend hours of in- 
vestigation in a few selected libraries, he will read none 
but the best known authors. He will not discover the 
<lelightful Letters of Simpkin the Second^ nor revel in the 
Hudibrastic nonsense of Qui Hai. Tom Raw, the Griffin, will 
be unknown to him ; and all that occasional writing, often 
coarsely realistic, that belongs to an age when the trick 
of pleasing expression in verse came as easy to the gentle- 
men of England as the nimble handling of a rapier. He 
may come across the gentle verse of Reginald Heber, and 
learn something of the vigour of John Leyden ; but he will 
not make the acquaintance of Henry Meredith Parker, whose 
•delicate humour illumines historical and topical themes. He 
will miss the scholarly work of David Lester Richardson, whose 
varied career as soldier and teacher brought him into touch with 
every phase of Anglo-Indian life in the first half of the nineteenth 
century. Sir Alfred Lyall's verse may lie to his hand, along with 
the Departmental Ditties. But, unless he has unusual good 
fortune, he will not easily find the Leviora of Thomas 
Francis Bignold, nor delight in that unexampled quatrain 
that has immortalised Eastern Bengal. In short, he will be 
deprived of a great amount of the pleasure to be found in the 
occasional verse written in and about India throughout the 
first three quarters of the nineteenth century. 

It would be unreasonable to maintain that, apart from 
authors of established reputation, there is any great 
quantity of valuable poetical work in the English literature 


of this period in India. Those writers who have fallen short 
of permanent recognition have, let it be admitted at once, 
deserved their fate. But, even if he miss the laurel wreath^ 
an author may merit re-perusal. The peculiar conditions 
of their work, combined with its frequent historical interest, 
have given other than a purely literary value to the verse of 
several writers whose names this volume seeks to revive. 
There are poems whose appeal is enhanced by the special 
circumstances of their origin : of such is the amusing- 
Ballad of Henry Torrens written in 1836; and, in 
far different mood, the Lay of Lachen by Colman. 
Macaulay. In these works the " note of univer- 
sality " may not be sounded ; but their interest 
remains undisputed. There is much verse of this kind ; but 
English poetry in India was not at all times occupied with, 
ephemeral themes. Whatever may be said finally upon the 
value of the work produced by our exiled poets, their range 
and enterprise have been considerable. The best of them 
sought to interpret Eastern life and thought through the 
medium of English poetry, and so to assimilate their know- 
ledge and experience of India as to enrich the literary inheri- 
tance of their countrymen. Less ambitious writers were 
content to find occasional topics in the comedy of Anglo- 
Indian life and in the varied scenery around them. Their 
handling of such themes was made the surer by long resi- 
dence in India; and, in virtue of this, their work has a 
character and distinction of its own. Others, working- 
through the medium of translation, have produced English 
poems of original value ; and have contributed to that type 
of literary work which is associated inevitably with the 
masterpiece of Fitzgerald. Lastly, throughout much of 
the verse of this volume, there is illustrated the spirit of the 
literature of exile; and this, for an imperial and sea-faring 
people, must ever possess a peculiar attraction. In India the 
distinctive note of this literature was struck at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century; and it has been re-echoed in 
varying degrees of intensity, and in a great variety of moods,. 
up to our own time. 


To the eighteenth century we must look, if we would 
understand the beginnings of English poetry in India. The 
traditions of that great age will die hard in the East ; and it 
would be strange if the period that includes the career of 
Clive and Hastings had left no literary work of permanence. 
Towards the close of the eighteenth century the history of 
India had been given definite direction. England and France 
had fought to a final conclusion their duel in the East ; and 
the shadow of Napoleonic dominance had been dissipated 
"by the lightning of Nelson's guns at the battle of the Nile. 
In those triumphant days began the literary work of English- 
men in India; and, as befitted the eighteenth century, there 
Avas a high seriousness in this beginning. To Sir William 
Jones the heaped treasures of Oriental learning made as 
urgent an appeal as the hoarded wealth of the Moghul 
Empire to the merchant-adventurers of the Company. 
Apart from his work as a translator, he attempted to explain 
and illustrate the Hindu mythology in a series of original 
odes. His verse became a vehicle of scholarly instruction, 
exemplifying the stately dignity that derives from Milton 
and Gray. By the time of his death in the year 1794, he had 
ennobled the activities of his countrymen in the East, and 
liad revealed to Europe a whole fresh world of literary 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the romantic 
movement in the literature of England had begun to influence 
the small group of writers of whom Reginald Heber and John 
Leyden were the chief. The first has much of the gentle spirit 
of William Cowper ; and the second has the fire and vigour 
that belong to the Scottish Border. Leyden was the friend of 
the great Sir Walter who alluded to his death in The Lord of 
the Isles. 

Scarba's Isle, whose tortured shore 
Still rings to Corrievreckan's roar. 

And lonely Colonsay : 
Scenes sung by him who sings no more, 
His bright and brief career is o'er, 
And mute his tuneful strains ; 


Quench'd is his lamp of varied lore, 

That loved the light of song to pour: 

A distant and a deadly shore 
Has Leyden's cold remains. 

A third writer, Henry Derozio, whose birth and education 
in Calcutta sealed his connection with the East, v^as an enthu- 
siastic follower of Byron. The work of these authors falls 
within the period preceding Macaulay's arrival in India. The 
year 1835, the date of the latter' famous minute on 
education which prompted Lord William Bentinck's 
decision to introduce English in Indian schools and 
colleges, may be said to close the first period of 
English verse production in India. From this date 
until the middle of the century, poetry began to serve a less 
serious purpose than that exemplified in the work of Jones, 
Heber and Leyden. As social life began to develop in the larger 
cities, English verse became the medium of wit and satire. Of 
this kind Henry Meredith Parker is indubitably the first and best 
exponent. His contemporaries were John William Kaye, the 
founder in 1844 of the Calcutta Review, Henry Whitelock 
Torrens and David Lester Richardson. 

Soon after the middle of the century the Mutiny- 
revived the interest of England in India; and at this 
time two authors received their inspiration from the East, 
and surpassed all their predecessors in the quality and 
variety of their work. These were Sir Edwin Arnold and 
Sir Alfred Lyall. The first acted as Principal of the Dekhan 
College in Poona from 1856 to 1861 ; and, in this brief period, 
he developed a passion for India and its people that coloured all 
his later writing. His shorter poems reveal a sympathetic insiglit 
into Oriental character, and an unusual power of interpreta- 
tion and description. In his more ambitious work he was 
influenced by the same ideas and aspirations as Sir William 
Jones, and paid as generous a tribute to the dignity and 
beauty of Eastern classical poetry. His occasional verse, 
lyrical, descriptive and narrative, is in its combined bulk 
and value, finer than anything produced in India before or 


after his time. In the work of Sir Edwin Arnold and of Sir 
Alfred Lyall, the poetry of Englishmen in India reached its 
maturity. The first applied the energy of true literary genius, 
and the precision of scholarship to the interpretation of oriental 
themes : the second allowed his intimate knowledge of India to 
become concentrated in verse of small bulk but of unmistakable 
quality. As a poet he is known by one tiny volume of less than 
thirty pieces; but amongst these is the incomparable Siva. 

To compile an anthology of Anglo-Indian verse written 
during the last century and a half, and to publish it unexpurgated 
and unexplained implies no slight temerity. The dilettante 
whose travels have never drawn him east of Suez may say, as 
he once said to Joachim Hay ward Stocqueler, the founder of 
The Englishman, " We eat no rice and curry in Cornhill." He 
will not believe that the art and spirit of poetry ever flourished 
amongst the merchant-adventurers of John Company — 

Men who prepared ambrosial Sangaree, 

And double Sangaree or Sangarorum: 

Now took a fleet, now sold a pound of tea. 

Weighed soap, stormed forts, held princes in terrorem, 

Drank, fought, smoked, lied, went home and, good papas, 

Gave diamonds to their little boys for taws. 

Nor is it possible to maintain that these men who builded greater 
than they knew, have given us more than occasional and topical 
verse. The writers amongst them founded no literary tradition, 
and they established no school of poetry. Most of them were 
the imitators of poets whom they had known in their youth ; but 
they have preserved a few quaint pictures of English life in an 
India that has passed away, and have shown an exuberant 
vitality that it might be our pride to recall. Their attitude to 
the East was simple and undisguised — it was a place of 
uncongenial, if remunerative, exile. 

If this fact should rufifle any Indian reader of these pages, 
he will find consolation in the thought that Anglo-Indian poetry 
rises into originality and greatness only when it is concerned 
with purely Oriental themes. In his poem Siva, Sir Alfred LyalB 
abandons ephemeral topics and faces one of the immemorial 


problems of the world. He looks through and beyond the 
sensuous imagery of the Hindu temple to the conception of 
those terrible powers that hold man and rule his destiny. No 
English verse produced in India has sounded a deeper note of 
understanding than this ; and no other poem has so concen- 
trated the mingled sensations of mystery and awe that haunt 
the Western mind in contact with the tangible symbols of the 
Hindu faith. In The Light of Asia there is unfolded a whole 
panorama of Oriental life, idealised in the reflected glory of 
the Lord Gautama and his teaching, but the first comprehen- 
sive picture of Indian faith and custom ever given to the 

Apart from its intrinsic literary or artistic merit, the verse 
produced by Englishmen in India from the time of Warren 
Hastings to the close of John Company's rule, contributed to an 
understanding of the East of reality. About ten years after the 
formation of the United East India Company, The Arabian 
Nights, translated from the French of Antoine Galland, had 
come for the first time into England. The influence of this work 
was great and lasting; and it created a fantastic conception of 
the Orient that is not yet wholly dead. The Rasselas of 
Dr. Samuel Johnson, the History of the Caliph Vathek by James 
Beckford, the Mejnoun and Leila of Isaac Disraeli and even 
The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith, are all products 
of the craze of Orientalism that smote the literature of eighteenth 
century England. But this Orientalism had no root in the real 
East. It was a thing of coflFee houses and drawing rooms. Its 
inspiration, if the term is at all appropriate, was of a purely 
literary kind, the product of quill pens and inkpots, divorced 
from reality and with no breath of life. In 1760, Goldsmith 
devoted the thirty-third letter of The Citizen of the World to a 
satire upon " the fictions every day propagated here under the 
titles of Eastern tales and oriental histories," And, had he lived 
long enough, he would have been as ready to attack the mellifluous 
Lalla Rookh of Thomas Moore, or the laborious Curse of Kehama 
of Robert Southey. For this pseudo-oriental literature the 
antidote lay in the realism of those novels of Eastern Life that 
appeared between 1819 and 1839, novels written by men who 


had lived for years in Syria, Persia and India. In the 
Anastasius Thomas Hope described the Turk of the Levant. In 
Hajji Baba of Ispahan James Justinian Morier depicted the 
comedy of Moslem life in Persia. In Pandurang Hari William 
Browne Hockley of the Bombay Civil Service produced the 
memoirs of a Hindu prince. In the Kuzzilhash James Baillie 
Fraser portrayed the wild life of the Afghan border; and, in 
1839, Colonel Meadows Taylor compiled the Confessions of a 
Thug, the greatest romance of the Indian road yet given to the 
world. The method of these writers was to select a single 
roguish character such as Fielding or Smollett might have drawn, 
and to set him loose in the country of their own special know- 
ledge. In this way the whole moving life of the Orient from 
Asia Minor into Egypt and Arabia, and through Persia into 
Hindustan was portrayed in detail for the West. In 1839 this 
achievement was complete: and, in the literary movement to 
which these picaresque romances belong, the poets of John 
Company have an assured place. 

This movement was in part a revolt from the fashionable 
and artificial Orientalism of the eighteenth century, and in 
part the result of the wars with France that made the Levant, 
Persia and India the centres of a critical diplomacy. After 
Waterloo, travel east of Asia Minor became popular ; and an 
Orient other than that of Haroun-Al-Raschid was unveiled for 
a curious Europe. Of the novelists who found their themes 
in this new world, almost all save Morier are forgotten ; and 
of the poets, Arnold was the last and best. But in the verse 
of his predecessors, there is much that the citizens of an 
India, greatly different from that of John Company, may be 
willing to recall, if not to admire. 


A Persian Song. 

Sweet maid, if tliou would'st charm my sight. 

And bid these arms thy neck infold; 

That rosy cheek, that lily hand, 

Would give thy poet more delight 

Than all Bocara's vaunted gold, 

Than all the gems of Samarcand. 

Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow, 
And bid thy pensive heart be glad, 
Whate'er the frowning zealots say : 
Tell them, their Eden cannot show 
A stream so clear as Rocnabad, 
A bower so sweet as Mosellay. 

Speak not of fate: Ah! change the theme. 

And talk of odours, talk of wine. 

Talk of the flowers that round us bloom : 

'Tis all a cloud, 'tis all a dream ; 

To love an.d joy thy thoughts confine, 

Nor hope to pierce the sacred gloom. 

Beauty has such resistless power, 
That even the chaste Egyptian dame 
Sigh'd for the blooming Hebrew boy ; 
For her how fatal was the hour, 
When to the banks of Nilus came 
A youth so lovely and so coy. 



But ah ! sweet maid, my counsel hear 
(Youth should attend when those advise 
Whom long experience renders sage) : 
While musick charms the ravish'd ear; 
While sparkling cups delight our eyes, 
Be gay; and scorn the frowns of age. 

What cruel answer have I heard? 

And yet, by heaven, I love thee still: 

Can aught be cruel from thy lip? 

Yet say, how fell that bitter word 

From lips which streams of sweetness fill, 

Which nought but drops of honey sip? 

Go boldly forth, my simple lay, 

Whose accents flow with artless ease. 

Like orient pearls at random strung: 

Thy notes are sweet, the damsels say; 

But O ! far sweeter, if they please 

The nymph for whom these notes are sung. 

A Hymn to Narayena. 

Spirit of Spirits, who, through ev'ry part 
Of space expanded and of endless time, 
Beyond the stretch of lab'ring thought sublime, 
Badst uproar into beauteous order start. 
Before Heav'n was. Thou art : 

Ere spheres beneath us roll'd or spheres above. 
Ere earth in firmamental ether hung, 
Thou satst alone ; till, through thy mystic Love, 
Things unexisting to existence sprung. 
And grateful descant sung. 


What first impell'd thee to exert thy might? 
Goodness unlimited. What glorious light 
Thy pow'r directed? Wisdom without bound. 
What prov'd it first? Oh! guide my fancy right, 
Oh raise from cumbrous ground 
My soul in rapture drown'd, 
That fearless it may soar on wings of fire ; 
For thou, who only knowst, Thou only canst inspire. 

Wrapt in eternal solitary shade, 
Th' impenetrable gloom of light intense, 
Impervious, inaccessible, immense. 
Ere spirits were infus'd or forms display'd, 
BREHM his own Mind survey'd, 
As mortal eyes (thus finite we compare 
With infinite) in smoothest mirrors gaze : 
Swift, at his look, a shape supremely fair 
Leap'd into being with a boundless blaze. 
That fifty suns might daze. 
Primeval Maya was the Goddess nam'd. 
Who to her sire, with Love divine inflam'd, 
A casket gave with rich Ideas fill'd. 
From which this gorgeous Universe he fram'd ; 
For, when th' Almighty will'd. 
Unnumbered worlds to build. 
From Unity diversified he sprang, 
While gay Creation laugh'd, and procreant Nature rang. 

First an all-potent all-pervading sound 

Bade flow the waters — and the waters flow'd, 
Exulting in their ineasureless abode. 
Diffusive, multitudinous, profound, 
Above, beneath, around ; 

Then o'er the vast expanse primordial wind 
Breath'd gently, till a lucid bubble rose, 
Which grew in perfect shape an Egg refin'd : 
Created substance no such lustre shows, 
Ea-rth no such beauty knows. 


Above the warring waves it danc'd elate, 
Till from its bursting shell with lovely state 
A form cerulean flutter'd o'er the deep. 
Brightest of beings, greatest of the great : 
Who, not as mortals steep 
Their eyes in dewy sleep, 
But heav'nly-pensive on the Lotus lay, 
That blossom'd at his touch and shed a golden ray. 

Hail, primal Blossom ! hail empyreal gem ! 

KEMEL, or PEDMA, or whate'er high name 
Delight thee, say, what four-form'd Godhead came,. 
With graceful stole and beamy diadem, 
Forth from thy verdant stem? 
Full-gifted BREHMA! Rapt in solemn thought 
He stood, and round his eyes fire-darting threw : 
But, whilst his viewless origin he sought, 
One plain he saw of living waters blue, 
Their spring nor saw nor knew. 
Then, in his parent stalk again retir'd 
With restless pain for ages he inquir'd. 
What were his pow'rs, by whom, and why conf err'd : 
With doubts perplex'd, with keen impatience fir'd 
He rose, and rising heard 
Th' unknown all-knowing Word, 
" BREHMA! no more in vain research persist: 
My veil thou canst not move. — Go; bid all worlds exist,"" 

Hail, self-existent, in celestial speech 

NARAYEN, from thy watery cradle, nam'd; 

Or VENAMALY may I sing unblam'd, 

With flow'ry braids, that to thy sandals reach. 

Whose beauties, who can teach? 
Or high PEITAMBER clad in yellow robes 
Than sunbeams brighter in meridian glow. 
That weave their heav'n-spun light o'er circling globes? 
Unwearied, lotus-eyed, with dreadful bow, 

Dire Evil's constant foe, 


Great PEDMANABHA, o'er thy cherish'd world 

The pointed Checra, by thy fingers whirl'd, 
Fierce KYTABH shall destroy and MEDHU grim 
To black despair and deep destruction hurrd. 
Such views my senses dim, 
My eyes in darkness swim : 
What eye can bear thy blaze, what utt'rance tell 
Thy deeds with silver trump or may-wreathed shell? 
Omniscient Spirit, whose all-ruling pow'r 

Bids from each sense bright emanations beam; 
Glows in the rainbow, sparkles in the stream. 
Smiles in the bud, and glistens in the flow'r 
That crowns each vernal bow'r; 
Sighs in the gale, and warbles in the throat 
Of ev'ry bird, that hails the bloomy spring, 
Or tells his love in many a liquid note 
Whilst envious artists touch the rival string, 
Till rocks and forests ring; 
Breathes in rich fragrance from the sandal grove, 
Or where the precious musk-deer playful rove; 
In dulcet juice from clust'ring fruit distills, 
And burns salubrious in the tasteful clove : 
Soft banks and verd'rous hills 
Thy present influence fills; 
In air, in floods, in caverns, woods and plains ; 
Thy will inspirits all, thy sov'reign MAYA reigns. 

Blue crystal vault, and elemental fires, 

That in th' ethereal fluid blaze and breathe ; 
Thou, tossing main, whose snaky branches wreathe 
This pensile orb with intertwisted gyres ; 
Mountains, whose radiant spires 

Presumptuous rear their summits to the skies, 
And blend their em'rald hue with sapphire light ; 
Smooth meads and lawns, that glow with varying dyes 
Of dew-bespangled leaves and blossoms bright. 
Hence vanish from my sight : 

Delusive Pictures ! unsubstantial shows ! 
My soul absorb'd One only Being knows. 


Of all perceptions One abundant source, 
Whence ev'ry object ev'ry moment flows 
Suns hence derive their force, 
Hence planets learn their course; 
But suns and fading- worlds I view no more : 
God only I perceive ; God only I adore. 




The Letters of Simpkin the Second, 
upon the Trial of Warren Hastings." 

You have ask'd me, dear Simon, a number of times, 

To send you some more of my ludicrous rhimes ; 

Want of matter has hitherto check'd my endeavour. 

But a subject occurs which may last me for ever, 

You must know, Mr. Burke, who was quondam a teacher, 

An usher, I think, is become an IMPEACHER; 

In the House he had rail'd against Hastings so long. 

That the Commons believ'd he had done something wrong; 

So they articles voted, not less than a score, 

Tho' Edmund says, he cou'd have fram'd many more. 

As my hero asserted, and Hastings denied, 

A day was appointed for him to be tried : 

But now for a time I must make a digression, 

To give an account of the court in procession. 

The Procession. 

The Lord Chancellor's family first came in view, 
And the order observed, was to walk two and two ; 
Then the Clerks and the Masters in Chancery came. 
Then the Judges of England in duo's the same. 
With Adair the King's Serjeant, and then the Black Rod; 
Then Heralds, and Barons, and Fathers in God. 
After them were the Viscounts, Earls, Marquisses seen. 
Then the Dukes, the Archbishops, and Cryer came in. 
Next follows the Chancellor, and last of all 
Dukes — Cumberland, Gloster, and York, and Cornwall. 



All after the Heralds walk singly, alone, 

And each as he passes, bows low to the Throne; 

So much for the Nobles, and now I'll describe 

The procession of Burke and his eloquent tribe. 

First Edmund walks in at the head of the group. 

The powerful chief of a powerful troop; 

What awful solemnity's seen in his gait, 

While the nod of his head, beats the time to his feet. 

Charles Fox is the second, and close to his right. 

Whose waddle declares he will never go straight. 

The ruby fac'd Sheridan follows the third, 

The opposer of Pitt and the Treasury Board; 

His attention, 'tis said, has so long been directed 

To the National Debts, that his own are neglected. 

And on public affairs, where such management's shewn, 

No wonder a man cannot think of his own. 

Then Francis comes sneaking with grief in his heaj^t, 

At not being indulg'd with a Manager's part ; 

Tho' he now and then steals to the Manager's box. 

To suggest a shrewd question to Edmund or Fox. 

The Commons, all those who from riding have leisure. 

Without order come in, and go out at their pleasure. 

When the Lords and the Judges had taken their stations, 

The Serjeant at Arms utter'd three proclamations; 

Then the charges and answers were read by the clerk, 

And some were got through by the time it was dark. 

The second day also was wasted in reading. 

But the third produced something of Edmund's proceeding: 

He rose and began — "You will find in the sequel, 

" My Lords, to this task I am very unequal : 

" But, the Commons, who hold me in high estimation, 

" Believe I am qualify'd well for the station." 

The lawyer appear'd in whatever he spoke, 

Than Blackstone more learn'd, more ingenious than Coke. 

Rules of evidence they had the merit of stating, 

But Edmund lays claim to the praise of creating: 


Yet even this deed by himself was excell'd 

In describing the countries he never beheld ; 

To be sure, his descriptions were vastly admir'd, 

The whole was his own, for his tongue was inspir'd 

With knowledge divine he expos'd to our view 

The religion of Hindoos, and Mussalmans too. 

And he said Junghez Khan only seized their dominions, 

But that Hastings wag'd war with the people's opinions. 

Here the orator blustered, at least for an hour, 

About Warren Hastings, and absolute power, 

Who, according to Burke, has been forming a plan 

To map geographical morals for man. 

Who to shew us his great geometrical art, 

Fit climates for virtues has drawn on a chart ; 

That virtues and vices, that duties and crimes. 

May change with the latitudes, countries, and climes. 

Here Edmund committed his honour and word 

To prove moral geography vastly absurd ; 

And by way of a secret, their Lordships were told 

That truth's not affected by heat or by cold; 

" Far better," says he, " when the English went thither, 

" Had they call'd the inhabitant natives together ; 

" And instead of subduing, or them over-reaching, 

" Had busy'd themselves with evangelic preaching. 

" No converts made they to the Christian religion, 

" But pluck'd the rich blacks like the wing of a pigeon. 

" For there was the Company's government built 

" Upon plunder, and rapine, and all kinds of guilt ; 

" In a system like this, 'tis no matter of wonder, 

" If all were inspired by the spirit of plunder. 

** There was not a captain, nor scarce a seapoy, 

" But a Prince would depose, or a Bramin destroy ;" 

Here the Hero digressed, and related some tales 
Of a prince to be slain, as he thought, by three seals. 
How Nabobs, and Ministers had been opprest. 
And the innocent natives with famine distrest. 


Now Edmund returns to his well-belov'd theme; 

To prove Hastings' power should not be supreme ; 

The Government rule 'twas his duty to draw 

From Coke upon Littleton, writers on law: 

And whenever their Lordships shall come to decide, 

Burke hoped they would take British laws for their guide; 

'Tis contended, says he, by the party accus'd, 

We should govern by laws to which subjects are used. 

But, my Lords, I maintain, 'tis expedient and fitting, 

To govern the world by the laws of Great Britain ; 

Nor do I conceive that it matters a jot. 

With respect to the laws, if they knew them or not. 

And the prisoner, I trust, will be try'd and attainted 

By those laws alone, with which I am acquainted. 

Here this letter ends, but expect, my dear Brother, 

When Edmund resumes I will send you another. 



The Art of Living in India. 

No more shall tragic stories fill our rhymes 
Come turn and look at life in softer climes ; 
In Eastern India's realm pursue the route, 
Where passions burn within, and Suns without. 
Calcutta, lo ! as London o'er the Thames, 
Lifts her high head above old Hougly's streams : 
There, Novice, fix your residence, and try 
To scan the passing scene with curious eye ; 
The motley mass of various life discern. 
And put in practice quickly what you learn. 

First, if you mean to gain a due respect, 

(And what so terrible as cold neglect!) 

Let eight trim bearers uniformly dress'd 

Attend your palanquin of modern taste ; 

Fly at a call, and bring you here and there 

To laugh and chatter — God knows what or where,. 

In vulgar eyes a palanquin has charms. 

But on the shining sides emblaze your arms, 

This elegant convenience first procure, 

Before you thrust your nose without the door. 

Let a long train, obsequious at a call. 

Attend in order round your spacious hall ; 

At breakfast seated, let the shining plate, 

Arrang'd with splendour, indicate your state ; 

For taste superior, gracious Heaven invoke. 

And learn that fashionable art — to smoke! 

The breakfast ended, on a couch reclin'd. 

The grateful hookah will relax the mind ; 

'Tis then the crouching slaves our orders take. 

Before they know what we're about to speak : 

But if some low born creditor should come. 

Be sure give orders then, you're not at home. 



In ' kill time visits ' pass away the noon, 

And 'chit chat parties' never leave too soon; 

Hear how they talk of politics, and how 

The news of the confederate armies go ; 

Or rather with the laughing Ladies play. 

And spend in fiddle faddle half the day» 

Since now you bask in Fortune's sunny ray. 

Give, give, your rolling gold to live the day. 

Not like the griping set who save and spare 

To perish wretched in cold northern air. 

When'er your easy mistress goes abroad, 

Then let the pomp of Flavius fill the road; 

Let six chubdars your silver sticks display, 

And shading punkas mitigate the day; 

Let emeralds set, her slender wrists enfold, 

And all her purfled vestments shine with gold: 

Let her, ah! let her thus genteely ride, 

While, as she comes, we starers sneak aside. 

When she's at home (how dear the thoughts of 

Keep her secluded in a separate dome 
Conscious to love and the soft hours of joy. 
Let her mid fragrant oils the noon employ ; 
Let her there, wrapp'd in robes of costly lawn. 
Enjoy the sweets of aromatic pawn. 
While servile daees, in flowing cloth array'd. 
By turns attend, and fan your charming maid. 
Yes, yes, ye Gods, sure such is earthly bliss. 
What would I give to be the Lord of this ! 

Ye shapely Nymphs, who form my pleasing theme 
Ye, born where Ganga rolls her hallow'd streank. 
Accept these numbers, written with spirit free, 
I love your India and your India me ! 
Thus I've selected, with a judgment nice, 
Instructive lessons of oblique advice ; 
Be your attention to the Muse inclin'd, 
And print them on the tablet of your mind. 


John Company. 

From the days of Job Charnock, scarce known on record. 
To the triumphs of Plassey's redoubtable Lord, 

The Company traffick'd unheeded : 
She sent her ships forth, the wide ocean to roam, 
With rich cargoes well freighted, and brought richer homei 

And in all she adventur'd succeeded. 

By oppression provok'd, she to arms had recourse, 

And soon made her oppressors submit to her force; 

From defensive proceeded offender: 
And her courage attemper'd with wisdom conspir'd 
To aggrandize her pow'r, till at length she acquir'd 

Of an empire entire the surrender. 

Now the sages in schools of diplomacy bred, 
Civil doctors, divines, and state-moralists said — 

(And the senate confirm'd their opinion;) 
That for her, a mere trader (for what was she more?) 
Or her factors and clerks, from her counting-house door, 

To pretend to the rights of dominion; 

That to give up the pen in exchange for the gun; 
To hold rule over nations — no matter how won: — 

To make treaties ; assume legislature ; 
Nay worse, of finance to distribute the drains, 
To elicit their currents, and pocket the gains ; 

Was to gospel repugnant and nature. 



So they stripped off her robe ; but the loss to atone. 
His Majesty gave her a cloak of his own; 

Lent her armies and fleets for protectors ; 
To diminish her cares, and to lighten their weight, 
For her guardians appointed the Lords of the State, 

And a Board to direct her Directors. 

Thus equipp'd, and embrac'd by the beams of the throne. 
As once Semele, wrapp'd in Jove's attributes, shone, 

Now as meek and resigned as a martyr. 
With the guilt of imputed offences defil'd, 
By rapacity pilfer'd, by malice revil'd. 

She gave up the ghost, and her charter. 

Though ignoble her birth, yet in death she may boast 
That her orb in the colours of glory was lost. 
Like the sun, when he sets in Orion ; 
This reflection of comfort at least to produce — 
That her greatness arose from the quill of a goose, ^^ 

And was crush'd by the paw of a lion. 



Ode to an Indian Gold Coin. 

Slave of the dark and dirty mine ! 

What vanity has brought thee here? 
Hov^- can I love to see thee shine 

So bright, whom I have bought so dear? 

The tent-ropes flapping lone I hear 
For tw^ilight-converse, arm in arm; 

The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear 
When mirth and music v^ront to charm. 

By Cherical's dark wandering streams, 
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild. 

Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams 
Of Teviot lov'd while still a child, 
Of castled rocks stupendous pil'd 

By Esk or Eden's classic wave. 
Where loves of youth and friendships smil'd, 

Uncurs'd by thee, vile yellow slave ! 

Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade! 

The perish'd bliss of youth's first prime. 
That once so bright on fancy play'd. 

Revives no more in after-time, 

Far from my sacred natal clime, 
I haste to an untimely grave ; 

The daring thoughts that soar'd sublime 
Are sunk in ocean's southern wave. 



Slave of the mine! thy yellow light 

Gleams baleful as the tomb-fire drear — 
A gentle vision comes by night 

My lonely widow'd heart to cheer; 

Her eyes are dim w^ith many a tear. 
That once wer& guiding stars to mine: 

Her fond heart throbs with many a fear — 
I cannot bear to see thee shine. 

For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave, 

I left a heart that lov'd me true I 
I cross'd the tedious ocean-wave, 

To roam in climes unkind and new. 

The cold wind of the stranger blew 
Chill on my wither'd heart: — the grave 

Dark and untimely met my view — 
And all for thee, vile yellow slave! 

Ha ! com'st thou now so late to mock 

A wanderer's banish'd heart forlorn, 
Now that his frame the lightning shock 

Of sun-rays tipt with death has borne? 

From love, from friendship, country, torn, 
To memory's fond regrets the prey, 

Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn — 
Go, mix thee with thy kindred clay! 

The Battle of Assaye. 

Written in 1803. 

Shout, Britons, for the battle of Assaye! 

For that was a day 

When we stood in our array. 

Like the lion's might at bay. 
And our battle-word was "Conquer or die." 


Rouse ! rouse the cruel leopard from his lair. 

With his yell the mountain rings, 

And his red eye round he flings, 

As arrow-like he springs, 
And spreads his clutching paw to rend and tear. 

Then first array'd in battle-front we saw, 

Far as the eye could glance. 

The Mahratta banners dance 

O'er the desolate expanse; 
And their standard was the leopard of Malwa. 

But, when we first encounter'd man to man, 
Such odds came never on. 
Against Greece or Macedon, 
When they shook the Persian throne 

Mid the old barbaric pomp of Ispahan. 

No number'd might of living men could tame 
Our gallant band, that broke 
Through the bursting clouds of smoke, 
When the vollied thunder spoke 

From a thousand smouldering mouths of lurid flame. 

Hail Wellesley! who led'st the martial fray! 

Amid the locust swarm, 

Dark fate was in thine arm; 

And his shadow shall alarm 
The Mahratta when he hears thy name for aye^ 

Ah! mark these British corses on the plain 1 

Each vanish'd like a star 

Mid the dreadful ranks of war. 

While their foemen stood afar. 
And gaz'd with silent terror at the slain. 

Shout Britons, for the battle of Assaye! 

Ye who perish'd in your prime, 

Your hallow'd names sublime 

Shall live to endless time. 
For heroic worth and fame shall never die^ 



Address to my Malay Krees. 

Written while pursued by a French privateer off Sumatra. 

Where is the arm I well could trust 
To urge the dagger in the fray? 

Alas! how powerless now its thrust, 
Beneath Malaya's burning day. 

The sun has wither'd in their prime 
The nerves that once were strong as steel 

Alas! in danger's venturous time 
That I should live their loss to feel. 

Yet still my trusty Krees prove true, 
If e'er thou serv'dst at need the brave, 

And thou shalt wear a crimson hue, 
Or I shall win a watery grave. 

Now let thine edge like lightning glow, 
And, second but thy master's will, 

Malay ne'er struck a deadlier blow. 
Though practis'd in the art to kill. 

O ! by thy point ! for every wound 
Where trace of Frankish blood hath been. 

A golden circle shall surround 
Thy hilt of agate smooth and green. 

My trusty Krees now play thy part, 
And second well thy master's will! 

And I will wear thee next my heart. 
And many a life-blood owe thee still. 


Verses written at Sagur Island in 1807. 

On sea-girt Sagur's desert isle, 

Mantled with thickets dark and dun, 

May never moon or starlight smile, 
Nor ever beam the summer sun! 

Strange deeds of blood have there been done. 

In mercy ne'er to be forgiven ; 

Deeds the far-seeing eye of heaven 
Veiled his radiant orb to shun. 

To glut the shark and crocodile 
A mother brought her infant here: 

She saw its tender playful smile, 
She shed not one maternal tear; 

She threw it on a watery bier : 

With grinding teeth sea monsters tore 

The smiling infant which she bore : 
She shrunk not once its cries to hear! 

Ah! mark that victim wildly drest. 

His streaming beard is hoar and grey. 
Around him floats a crimson vest, 

Red-flowers his matted locks array. 

Heard you these brazen timbrels bray? 
His heart-blood on the lotus-flower 
They offer to the Evil Power ; 

And offering turn their eyes away. 

Dark Goddess of the iron mace, 

Flesh-tearer ! quaffing life-blood warm, 
The terrors of thine awful face 

The pulse of mortal hearts alarm. 

Grim Power ! if human woes can charm. 
Look to the horror of the flood, 
Where crimson'd Ganga shines in blood, 

And man-devouring monsters swarm. 


Skull-chaplet-wearer ! whom the blood 
Of man delights a thousand years, 

Than whom no face, by land or flood, 
More stern and pitiless appears, 
Thine is the cup of human tears. 

For pomp of human sacrifice 
Cannot the cruel blood suffice 
Of tigers, which thine island rears? 

Not all blue Ganga's mountain-flood. 

That rolls so proudly round thy fane. 
Shall cleanse the tinge of human blood, 
Nor wash dark Sagur's impious stain 
The sailor, journeying on the main, 
Shall view from far the dreary isle, 
And curse the ruins of the pile 
Where Mercy ever sued in vain. 



Calcutta : a Poem. 

The Arrival. 

Curse on the ship in evil hour that bore 
My jolted frame to India's burning shore! 
An inauspicious hour, from which I date 
The bitter torments of a wretched fate : 
Deluded, listening to the tales they told. 
Lands rich in mines, and rivers streaming gold; 
Whence twelve short years in Luxury's lap beguiled. 
Would bear me homeward. Fortune's favourite child. 
To pass my days in some secure retreat, 
Or grace the mazes of St. James's Street; 
Even then, in fancy drawn with bays or roans, 
I seized the reins, and rattled o'er the stones. 
Oh ! fond delusion ! prospects nursed in vain, 
The rude creation of a thoughtless brain ! 
A visionary image, formed to shun 
The melting gaze of India's fervid sun! 
Now, sad reverse ! the rich delusion flies, 
House, park, and carriage vanish from my eyes! 
Condemned, alas! twelve tedious years to burn 
Nor dare the vast expenses of return, 
When all the savings of attentive care 
Would scarcely buy a cabin eight feet square ; 
Content in England with a single room, 
And solitary nag without a groom. 




Alas ! the service is not what it was ! 

How much degen'rate from those golden days, 

When money streamed a thousand different ways. 

When hands and pockets wisely understood 

No rule of guidance but their master's good; 

Ere yet we ventured honesty to sham. 

And drew no profit from the low salaam; 

Thought it no fault, whatever were the drift, 

To take a handsome nuzza as a gift! 

Now rules and scruples all our prospects blast, 

Touch but the money, and you lose your caste. 

Who dried a source that swelled the guilty purse 

Claims our best thanks, and has no Briton's curse - 

And ill is treasure used, and wisdom shown. 

In dealing cates and banquets to the drone. 

First show the balance where your merits weigh, 

Then prove an hardship in the want of pay, 

And hint at least an equitable rate 

To pay your zeal and services of state, 

That wear and tear of body and of mind, 

When crazed with thinking, and with study blinds 

Your monthly pay-bills in a huff you scrawl. 

For what? three hundred siccas — and that's all! 

John- Company. 

Fast by the banks where muddy Hoogly flows. 
The merchant's seat, a modest factory, rose. 
While yet no works of engineering skill 
Thundered resistance to a nabob's will. 
While yet Bengal an Indian prince obeyed. 
And careful factors plied the silken trade, 
Content with grants that jealousies prescribe, 
And paid their court to eunuchs by a bribe. 
Not long their bound'ry a Mahratta ditch, 
When roused by wrong, and burning to be richj 


When fell revenge a cruel coward smote, 

And Meerum's poignard struck Surajah's throat. 

To bolder prospects learning to aspire, 

The peaceful merchant caught the soldier's fire ; 

In native squabbles ventured to intrigue, 

Revenged another's wrong, or joined a league; 

In self-defence he triumphed o'er his foes, 

And courted quarrels to ensure repose. 

A nobler policy, a wiser plan, 

Ne'er reared a state, nor animated man: 

For kings amazed in passing years beheld 

The modest factory to an empire swelled, 

The power of India's ancient rulers flown. 

And nabobs take a pension for a throne! 

Hence vig'rous commerce, unexampled trade. 

Springs from that best of maxims — to invade ; 

And 'tis far better, spurning all control, 

To stretch an honest hand, and grasp the whole ; 

To tax a people ready to obey. 

And hug the sweets of universal sway; 

Than fix on articles a stated price. 

And meanly trade for indigo and rice! 

Alas ! creative nature calls to light 
Myriads of winged forms in sportive flight, 
When gathered clouds with ceaseless fury pour 
A constant deluge in the rushing shower, 
On every dish the bouncing beetle falls, 
The cockroach plays, or caterpillar crawls ; ' 

A thousand shapes of variegated hues 
Parade the table, and inspect the stews! 
To living walls the swarming hundreds stick, 
Or court a dainty meal, the oil wick, 
Heaps over heaps their slimy bodies drench. 
Out go the lamps with suffocating stench! 
When hideous insects ev'ry plate defile, 
The laugh how empty, and how forced the smile! 


The knife and fork a quiet moment steal, 
Slumber secure, and bless the idle meal ; 
The pensive master, leaning in his chair. 
With manly patience mutters in despair — 

England! show, with all thy fabled bliss, 
One scene of real happiness like this ! 


Oh ! for that happy day (compared with that, 
All days are joyless and all pleasures flat,) 
When filled with boundless raptures of delight, 

1 view low Saugor fading from the sight; 
Hail in the welcome breeze a glad retreat 
From shores that glisten with eternal heat; 
And, as the bellying sails distended swell. 
To heat and India bid a long farewell! 
Where milder suns on happier seasons shine. 
Be Britain's isle and British comfort mine ; 
Where kindred ties the passing hour endear. 
Prompt the glad smile, and wipe the falling tear: 
Where Liberty with Justice reigns entwined, 
And wakes to life the virtues of the mind: 

Where pure Devotion pours her heaven-taught prayer. 

And awful piles a reverend aspect wear, 

Their sacred spires amid the prospect smile, 

And speak in grateful praise the favoured isle; 

Unseen the barb'rous rite, the frantic train. 

Unheard the shout that frights the idol fane! 

Sweet is the view where nature's bounteous plan 

Owes a last polish to industrious man! 

Dear land! the best of thoughts where'er I stray. 

At night my vision, and my theme by day. 


The Adventures of Qui Hai. 

Next morning's sun had just arisen, 
And drove the dusky clouds from heaven. 
Ere Qui Hai, on his Arab horse. 
Set off to find Byculla course ; 
Where, 'twas determin'd, ev'ry man 
Should meet before the hunt began. 
Their breakfast now the sportsmen take. 
Merely a " plug of malt," and steak, 
The bugle's signal now, of course, 
Summon'd the bobbery to horse: 
They get the word, and off they move, 
In all directions, to Love-Grove. 
A jackass, buff'lo, or tattoo. 
The sportsmen anxiously pursue. 
Old women join the beasts in running: 
"The jungle wallas now are coming!" 
A loud " view-hollo " now is given : 
"A dog, a Paria, by heaven! 
" Surround him — there he goes — ^a-head : 
" Put all your horses to their speed." 
He's lost — the knave has taken cover! 
Old L — n now perceives another. 
"Hark! forward, sportsmen — 'tis the same: 
" The rascal he shews famous game. 
" See how the fellow scours along, 
" In a direction to Ghirghon : 
" Dash after him ; he turns again ; 
" We'll find him on Byculla plain. 
" Oh luckless ! we have lost all hope — 
" He's taken cover in a tope." 
Thus spoke the huntsman, and he swore 
He'd find him, or he'd hunt no more. 



The horsemen fearlessly push in, 
Contending who the ear should win; 
For, gentle reader ! know, that here 
A brush is nothing to an ear. 
But Qui Hai, disregarding care, 
Fell headlong on a prickly pear: 
Making, incautiously, a bound. 
Both horse and rider bit the ground; 
But luckily, except some dirt, 
They both escap'd without a hurt. 
The Paria in the tope they caught; 
His ear extravagantly bought. 
The cur had run them such a heat, 
As put the hunters in a sweat; 
They vow'd that on a future day, 
They'd take his other ear away; 
Now jumping-powder, wine and beer. 
The riders and the horses cheer. 
The huntsman now inform'd them all, 
They were to tiff at Bobb'ry Hall. 
Mounted again, the party starts, 
Upsets the hackeries and carts; 
Hammalls, and palanquins, and doolies, 
Dobies, and Burrawas, and coolies, 
Malabar hill at last they gain'd; 
Our hero at its foot remain'd; 
His horse he could not think to ride, 
Like others, up its rugged side. 
So wisely took another path, 
That led directly to the bath. 
Where soon he found the party met 
Were all for tiffin sharply set. 
What rounds of beef, hampers of beer. 
What jumping-powder they had here, 
It is impossible to tell — 
To hint at them will do as well. 
It, therefore, must suffice to say, 
That Qui Hai spent a pleasant day; 


But with the jumping-powder heated, 

He got completely — elevated; 

So much so he could scarce remember 

The huntsman's song, " Fifth of November " ; 

And 'ere they could cry out encore, 

He tumbled plump upon the floor ; 

But as he lay upon the ground, 

His health w^ith three times three went round. 

Our hero soon regain'd his seat, 

And kept it up till it was late. 

More jumping-powder, they were sure. 

Would certainly effect a cure; 

This antidote so soon discovered. 

Our hero tried, and got recover'd; 

Then join'd them in their songs and laughter. 

Nor e'er complain'd of head-ache after. 

Homewards the party now proceeds, 

Scarce capable to guide their steeds. 

But tho' through rocks and topes they went, 

None of them met an accident. 

How Qui Hai had contriv'd to mount. 

He never after could account; 

Nor how his saddle he could keep. 

For all the time he was asleep. 

The horse (quite sober) knew the way, 

Without direction, to Bombay; 

Nor stopp'd till at th' Apollo gate. 

Him and his rider's forc'd to wait ; 

Soon as the sentry hoarsely spoke, 

Qui Hai immediately awoke : 

He found his horse had been mistaken. 

And an improper road had taken ; 

He chang'd his course, and soon he found 

The way into his own compound; 

Where he, as usual, from his gipsy, 

A lecture got for being tipsy. 


A letter from Shigram-Po to his Father. 

CalciiUa one hundred years ago. 

You know, my dear Parent, how oft you and I 
Talk'd in praise of Bengal, ere I wish'd you good bye. 
Of the riches and rank which were sure to accrue 
To those who its glittering paths should pursue ; 
No more on such faithless descriptions depend, 
'Tis a fudge I've found out, from beginning to end ! 

You'll expect I am sure whilst my sorrows I utter, 
That I write some few hints about charming Calcutta. 
It is without doubt a magnificent spot. 
Both charmingly sickly and charmingly hot! 
'Tis the City of Palaces, long since so named. 
And for very large mansions most justly is famed. 
These mansions of bliss to extend may be said. 
From the ghaut at Chandpal down the whole Esplanade, 
Including the Court House, Town Hall and besides 
The great house of all, where the Governor resides. 
The first in the list is a mansion we find. 
Where justice and mercy, are justly combined, 
Where Lawyers dispute, but on one point agree. 
And that is — the never refusing a fee. 
Next, the Town Hall in turn, stands in splendid array, 
Tho' many supposed, 't would fall down t' other day, 
But confident grown, they by hundreds assemble, 
And dance till they make every board of it tremble ! 
'Tis there, when they hold their famed conversationes, 
Ladies meet their admirers, and men meet their cronies. 



Then clubs oft assemble in commemoration 

Of some great event, some of strange designation! 

Amongst them, The Lunatics, who modest elves, 

Have taken this Lunatic title themselves 1 

They meet once a month, when the Moon's at it's full, 

With bumpers of claret their sorrows to lull. 

But I doubt much indeed, if the day of the feast 

Of all lucid intervals — is not the least. 

How many there'd be at the club to imbibe, 

If all who are Lunatic would but subscribe! 


To those who're accustomed to ride on the course, 
An Arab's considered the most showy horse. 
Rotten Row of a Sunday ne'er made the display 
Nor boasted the beauty seen there every day! 
Where soon as it's sun-set, the ladies resort 
By Hygeian gusts their weak spirits support, 
In Chariots, Barouches and Sociables too. 
All open of course, to ensure better view, 
Or what is more likely, and what my lines mean, 
They are open that they may both see and be seen! 
Here friends meet together, converse as they ride, 
And gentlemen follow the Barouche's side, 
Who whilst they're inhaling the genial air, 
Are talking soft nonsense besides to the fair! 

* * * «  

We have newspapers too, as you have in the West, 
Each editor striving to prove his the best, 
With pages enough for a Counsellor's brief, 
Tho' some of them still might turn o'er a new leaf! 
The Journal, Gazette, The Harkaru and Post, 
The India Gazette, and the awful nam'd Ghost. 
The columns of some, we peruse but with pain, 
Perceiving the feuds which they daily contain. 
No paper appears but produces new schism. 
Or charges perhaps of fresh radicalism, 
But what should we do, we'd be bad off indeed. 
If we had not a paper of some kind to read. 


And here when a vessel arrives we devour 

The news of six months in the space of an hour. 

if: * * * # 

The customs of living are strange in th' extreme 
And to you my dear Parent will very odd seem. 


Here they rise very late, and beginning to dress, 
Are surrounded by slaves for they can't do with less. 
Here the natives of India to caste do so cling, 
You scarcely get two to perform the same thing. 
One puts on a stocking, one holds a serie 
Another with chillumchees stands ready by, 
A third has a mirror, he brings to your view, 
A fourth fellow's tying the string of your shoe ! 
Or perhaps if undressing, a bearer's undoing 
Your shoes or cravat, there's another shampooing 
Your arms or your legs whiche'er he may light on 
As famed Dean Mahomed shampoos you at Brighton I 
Equipp'd to the table they hie to partake 
Of breakfast, by far the best meal that they make. 
Then each his own business prepares to pursue 
But ere they proceed, smoke a chillum or two. 

* * * * 

But now my dear father, 'tis full time to close 
This very long letter, or you may suppose 
That having commenc'd, I may never intend 
To bring my remarks on our town to an end. 
Adieu! then dear parent and long live to know 
That I'm always your dutiful son Shigram-Po! 


Lines Addressed to Mrs. Heber. 

If thou wert by my side, my love, 

How fast would evening fail 
In green Bengala's palmy grove 

Listening the nightingale! 

If thou, my love, wert by my side. 

My babies at my knee. 
How gaily would our pinnace glide 

O'er Gunga's mimic sea ! 

I miss thee at the dawning gray, 

When, on our deck reclined, 
In careless ease my limbs I lay 

And woo the cooler wind. 

I miss thee when by Gunga's stream 

My twilight steps I guide. 
But most beneath the lamp's pale beam 

I miss thee from my side. 

I spread my books, my pencil try 

The lingering noon to cheer. 
But miss thy kind approving eye, 

Thy meek attentive ear. 

But when of morn and eve the star 

Beholds me on my knee, 
I feel, though thou art distant far, 

Thy prayers ascend for me. 



Then on! then on! where duty leads. 

My course be onward still, 
O'er broad Hindostan's sultry mead, 

O'er bleak Almorah's hill. 

That course, nor Delhi's kingly gates, 

Nor wild Malwah detain ; 
For sweet the bliss us both awaits 

By yonder western main. 

Thy towers, Bombay, gleam bright, they say. 

Across the dark blue sea ; 
But ne'er were hearts so light and gay 

As then shall meet in thee! 

An Evening Walk in Bengal. 

Our task is done! on Gunga's breast 
The sun is sinking down to rest; 
And, moored beneath the tamarind bough. 
Our bark has found its harbour now. 
With furled sail and painted side 
Behold the tiny frigate ride. 
Upon her deck, 'mid charcoal gleams. 
The Moslem's savoury supper steams; 
While all apart, beneath the wood. 
The Hindoo cooks his simpler food. 

Come walk with me the jungle through. 
If yonder hunter told us true. 
Far off, in desert dank and rude. 
The tiger holds its solitude; 
Nor (taught by recent harm to shun 
The thunders of the English gun) 
A dreadful guest but rarely seen. 
Returns to scare the village green. 


Come boldly on ! no venom'd snake 
Can shelter in so cool a brake : 
Child of the Sun, he loves to lie 
'Midst Nature's embers, parch'd and dry, 
Where o'er some tower in ruin laid. 
The peepul spreads its haunted shade ; 
Or round a tomb his scales to wreath, 
Fit warder in the gate of Death. 
Come on ! yet pause ! Behold us now 
Beneath the bamboo's arched bough, 
Where, gemming oft that sacred gloom 
Glows the geranium's scarlet bloom, 
And winds our path through many a bower 
Of fragrant tree and giant flower; 
The ceiba's crimson pomp displayed 
O'er the broad plantain's humbler shade. 
And dusk anana's prickly glade ; 
While o'er the brake, so wild and fair. 
The betel waves his crest in air. 
With pendent train and rushing wings 
Aloft the gorgeous peacock springs ; 
And he the bird of hundred dyes, 
Whose plumes the dames of Ava prize. 
So rich a shade, so green a sod 
Our English fairies never trod. 
Yet who in Indian bowers has stood. 
But thought on England's " good green wood," 
And bless'd beneath the palmy shade, 
Her hazel and her hawthorn glade. 
And breath'd a prayer, (how oft in vain) 
To gaze upon her oaks again? 
A truce to thought. — the jackal's cry 
Resounds like sylvan revelry; 
And through the trees yon failing ray 
Will scantly serve to guide our way. 
Yet mark, as fade the upper skies. 
Each thicket opes ten thousand eyes. 


Before, beside us, and above, 
The fire-fly lights his lamp of love. 
Retreating, chasing, sinking, soaring, 
The darkness of the copse exploring, 
While to this cooler air confest, 
The broad Dhatura bares her breast 
Of fragrant scent and virgin white, 
A pearl around the locks of night. 
Still as we pass, in softened hum 
Along the breezy alleys come 
The village song, the horn, the drum. 

Still as we pass, from bush and brier, 
The shrill Cigala strikes his lyre ; 
And, what is she whose liquid strain 
Thrills through yon copse of sugar-cane? 
I know that soul-entrancing swell, 
It is — it must be — Philomel. 
Enough, enough, the rustling trees 
Announce a shower upon the breeze, 
The flashes of the summer sky 
Assume a deeper, ruddier dye ; 
Yon lamp that trembles on the stream. 
From forth our cabin sheds its beam; 
And we must early sleep, to find 

Betimes the morning's healthy wind. 
But oh! with thankful hearts confess 
E'en here there may be happiness ; 
And He, the bounteous Sire, has given 

His peace on earth, — His hope of heaven. 


On the Abolition of Sattee. 

Red from his chambers came the morning sun 

And frowned, dark Ganges, on thy fatal 'shore. 
Journeying on high ; but when the day was done 

He set in smiles, to rise in blood no more. 
Hark! heard ye not? the widow's wail is over; 

No more the flames from impious pyres ascend. 
See Mercy, now primeval peace restore. 

While pagans glad the arch ethereal rend, 
For India hails at last, her father and her friend. 

Back to its cavern ebbs the tide of crime. 

There fettered, locked, and powerless it sleeps ; 
And History bending o'er the page of time. 

Where many a mournful record still she keeps, 
The widowed Hindoo's fate no longer weeps ; 

The priestly tyrant's cruel charm is broken. 
And to his den alarmed the monster creeps; 

The charm that mars his mystic spell is broken. 
O'er all the land 'tis spread : he trembles at the token. 

Bentinck, be thine the everlasting meed! 

The heart's full homage still is virtue's claim. 
And 'tis the good man's ever honoured deed 

Which gives an immortality to fame: 
Transient and fierce, though dazzling is the flame 

That glory lights upon the wastes of war: 
Nations unborn shall venerate thy name, 

A triumph than the conqueror's mightier far, 
Thy memory shall be blessed as is the morning star. 



He is the friend of man who breaks the seal 

The despot custom sets in deed and thought, 
He labours generously for human weal 

Who holds the omnipotence of fear as naught; 
The winged mind will not to earth be brought, 

'Twill sink to clay if it imprisoned be ; 
For 'tis with high immortal longings fraught. 

And these are dimmed or quenched eternally, 
Until it feels the hand that sets its pinions free. 

And woman hath endured, and still endures 

Wrong, which her weakness and her woes should shield^ 
The slave and victim of the treacherous lures 

Which wily arts, to man, the tyrant yield: 
And here the sight of star, or flower, or field; 

Or bird that journeys through the sunny air, 
Or social bliss from woman has been sealed, 

To her, the sky is dark, the earth is bare. 
And Heaven's most hallowed breath pronounced 

forbidden fare. 
But with prophetic ken, dispelling fears 

Which haunt the mind that dwells on nature's plan. 
The Bard beholds through mists of coming years 

A rising spirit speaking peace to man, 
The storm is passing, and the Rainbow's span 

Stretcheth from North to South : the ebon car 
Of darkness rolls away: the breezes fan 

The infant dawn, and morning's herald star 
Comes trembling into day: O! can the Sun be far? 


Tom Raw the Griffin. 

Now Mister Thomas Raw was so methodical, 

That letters recommendatory he sorted 

All alphabetically, — 'tis a mode I call 

Wise in a youth — we know not where he caught it. 

Thus Mister A. was first to be resorted 

To, — Mister Z. the very last of all. 

His breakfast finished, and his best clothes sported, 

To Buxoo, his factotum, loud the call 

Of " Ticka-palkee," echoed through the punch-house hall. 

Buxoo the mandate (quite art em secundum). 

Immediately obeyed. — He knew the ahib logue, 

In Town, Chowringhee, Allipore and Dumdum, 

The offices, and Europe-shops in vogue, 

Palmer and Co., and Davidson and Hogue ; 

In short, he'd shew his master all the lions; 

Tom in his palkee tumbled, while the rogue 

Became a peon, — each servitory science 

Having well learnt and practised — out of sheer compliance. 

Park Street they follow, and, at number three. 
The Palkee stops— " Is Mister A. at home?" 
Cries Tom — " Don't know," says Buxoo, " but I see ; 
""Ho! Durwan, ho! — ho! Durwanjee — he's dumb, 
" He smoke his hookah, and he will not come." 
" If there's a bell, go ring it with a vengeance," 
Replied his master, as he cocked his thumb. 
The Durwan peeps, as he e'er peeps at plain gents, 
And, yawning, proves you quite unworthy his attendance. 



"Sahib Ghur me hi?"— "Is Mr. A. within?" 

Exclaimed the master and his squire at once, 

" Hum poochinga," cried Cerberus, with a grin. 

"Here, take my card," roared Tom, — "the man's a dunce!"" 

Then, waiting full ten minutes in the sun's 

O'erpowering influ'nce, counting every throb 

That beat upon his brain, the brute returns, 

Throws back the portals that keep out the mob, 

And with stentorian bawl, proclaims a Bar ke Sahib! 

A hundred menials posted at the door, 
Demand his name, as, mounting up the flight 
Of steps he strides, and proudly march before 
To shew the way — 'Twas an appalling sight. 
But on he bounds, exerting all his might. 
Brandishing a red handkerchief to dry 
The dew-drops clustering with effulgence bright 
On his carnation brow. — His heart beat high 
As the exalted chieftain he was drawing nigh. 

Now through a spacious dining-room they go, 

Where one long table and four dozen chairs 

Are seen, and twelve large globe lamps, hanging low. 

And in each corner a zepoy, which bears 

An Indian shade — while a long punkah stares 

The Griffin in the face. Their journey's end. 

The study of the great Qui hi, appears ; 

The door is opened — Jemmadars low bend 

Their well-oiled, pHant backs, and usher in — our friend. 

There seated, was a most cadav'rous figure, 
With sallow visage, long and wrinkled too, 
A large hooked nose, and twinkling eyes— no bigger 
Than gooseberries, with just their greenish hue; 
His spindle shanks were twined with treble screw; 
And the thin hoary honours of his head 
Fell long and lank, and scraped into a queue; 
His clothes might o'er him and his wife have spread, 
And shoes of red nankeen he wore— stitched with white 


Before a desk he sat — bestrewed with papers, 

Some English correspondence, and some Persian, 

A chamber candlestick with waxen tapers, 

Law documents and missals in reversion, 

Sewals, jewaubs, et cetera — a version 

Of Ayn Akbarry — Nasdan Kyabooka, 

A brass pheckdan (our very great aversion) 

The saHva receiver of a smoker 

Who day and night puffs copiously — a gilded hookah. 

Soon as he heard our hero's name, and saw 

The youth approach, his glasses were displaced; 

And there, indeed, stood honest Thomas Raw, 

Just in the act to bow, — with look amazed; 

Four strides he'd made, and, at the fifth, he raised 

His right leg, which a curve soon brought to bear 

Obliquely forward, till the toe just grazed 

The matted floor — It made a circuit there 

Smart to the right, and ended at length — " as you were." 

One hand his dripping forehead wiped, — the other 
Was fumbling in his pocket for the letter. 
Which was produced in form, while many a brother 
Fell to the ground, unbound by tape or fetter. 
" What ? — from my friend Will Raw — there never a better 
" Old boy, existed," called out Mr. A. 
" And you, sir, I presume's his son ? — Well get a 
" Chair, and sit down — Here, Chokey-low, I say 
" I'm glad to see you — When sail'd you from England, — 

"But tell me how you left the squire. Sir Harry? 

" Many's the time I've joined him in the chase " — 

" Why, first of all, he was induced to marry, 

" And, never afterwards, held up his face ; 

" They said he broke his neck in Hymen's race. 

" He died, however — jointuring well his widow, 

" Who, passing to his heir, the fine old place, 

" For one whole fortnight, scrupulously hid her 

" Pretended grief, and, now's for sale to th' highest bidder !" 


The Qui hi paused, — the pause was long and dreary, 

He'd nothing more to ask, nor Tom to say. 

He yawned — stretched out his Hmbs, and seemed most weary, 

The youth with no encouragement to stay. 

Twirled round his Bicknell's hat in every way : 

Hope had bespoke him quarters where he was, 

But " taza Chillum " dimmed its lively ray. 

And soon it suffered a negation poz, 

When from his chair the thin old Indian stiffly rose; 

With " sorry can't invite you to my house, 
" But hope you'll come to-morrow, here, to dinner ; 
" Just now there's Major Flask and Mrs. Grouse, 
"And I expect from Meerut — Colonel Skinner. 
" Your ship's come up — I hope you're not still in her ; 
" My breakfast hour is, always, half past eight, 
"You'll then see Mrs. A. — You've not yet seen her? 
" We dine at seven, — take care you're not too late," 
And then he bowed our hero fairly to the gate. 

1784— 1S52. 

Ode to a Punkah. 

Punkah ! thou long hast merited an ode, 

Giving thyself, as well as others airs; 
Thou swing'st aloft in every man's abode, 

As if in scorn of him and his affairs ; 
Viewing him, " grunt and sweat," as Shakespeare says, 
(Coarse language, used in ancient days.) 

Still puffing on. 
Whilst he cries "Aura Veni " — breezes, come! 

But soon a rush of heat alters his tone. 
And " zor se tan " re-echoes through the room. 
Then fringed or unfringed dost thou fly, 

Jerk'd back and forward by old Doss, 
The bearer. Straight, and now awry; 

Croaking on plaintive hooks the beams across, 
Tortured by many an awkward pull, 
And threatening to come down, and split thy master's skull ! 

Punkah! 'tis thine to bless 

Man, sick or well; 
Thou soother of distress, 
Who can thy virtues tell? 
When a cold glass of soda water throws 
The skin into a bath, and smarting glows 
The prickly heat, thy wonderous power 
Checks the distracting itch in half an hour. 
On couch recumbent rolls the invalid; 

Thermometer at ninety, ninety-five, 
Yellow as saffron, and the heat, indeed. 

Too hot by far for any thing alive. 
What is there then to give a moment's ease? 
Nothing in all the world but thy refreshing breeze. 



Leaf of the palm wert thou. 

Primitive punkah! and thy form is still 
The same with Mussulman, and eke Hindoo, 

Moved in the hand at will. 
In the closed harem cross-legged sit the wives 

Of Rajahs and Moghuls, paun ever chewing; 
And with the leaf of palm 
Fanning themselves, they whiff the balm 

Of hookahs, still the stimulus renewing. 
And thus 'midst smoke and paun they pass their lazy lives. 

But European taste 
Suspends thee high; 

And thou art most commodiously placed. 
Not to disturb the eye. 
Whilst the luxurious Soldier or Civilian 

Quaffs blushing Lai beneath thy breezy swing. 
And gulps factitious airs — which drive a million 

Muskeetos from him. buzzing on the wing. 
Refreshing flapper! influence divine! 
Prime relisher of feasts — unmeasured praise be thine f 

Punkah I thou cooler of the fever's heat ; 
Dryer of floods that inundate the skin; 
Teaching the pulse more temperately to beat, 

And keeping sickness out, and health within ; 
Thou art a blessing in this nether sphere ; 
Without thee, what would man do here — 
In this o'erpowering land of cloudless sun? 
Why, faith! his hot career would soon be done. 
Even now his skin is often like a sheet 

Of parchment, crisp and brown, and wo-begone; 
Without thee, then would he not be, by heat, 

Par-boiled, and grilled, and roasted to the bone? 
And yet I am the very first, 

To give thee, Punkah, fitting praise ; 
In all thy cheering virtues versed, 
I consecrate to thee my lays. 
Oh ! I love to write about thee, 
For I cannot breathe without thee ! 


Starboard Watch, Ahoy ! 

At midnight's dark and dreary hour, 

Deserted e'en by Cynthia's beam, 
When tempests beat, and torrents pour. 

And twinkHng stars no longer gleam, 
The weary seaman, spent with toil, 

Hangs on upon the weather shrouds, 
And Time's slow progress to beguile. 

Sings, as he views the gathering clouds, 
" Starboard watch ! ahoy ! " 

But who can speak the joy he feels, 
While o'er the foam his vessel reels, 
As his tired eyelids slumbering fall. 
He rouses at the welcome call 
Of "Starboard watch, ahoy!" 


With anxious care he eyes each wave. 

That swelling threatens all to o'erwhelm, 
And his storm-beaten bark to save 

Directs with skill the faithful helm. 
With joy he drinks the cheering grog 

'Mid storms that bellow, loud and hoarse; 
With joy he heaves the reeling log, 

And marks the distance and the course. 

But how much greater joy he feels, 
While o'er the foam his vessel reels, 
As his tired eyelids slumbering fall, 
He rouses at the welcome call 
Of " Starboard watch, ahoy ! " 



Lines Written on the Death of 
Leyden, 1811. 

Where sleep the brave on Java strand, 

Thy ardent spirit, Leyden! fled; 
And Fame with cypress shades the land, 
Where Genius fell, and Valour bled. 

When triumph's tale is westward borne, 
On Border-Hills no joys shall gleam; 

And thy lov'd Teviot long shall mourn 
The youthful minstrel of her stream. 

Near Jura's rocks the Mermaid's strain 
Shall change from glad to solemn lay; 

For he is gone, the youthful swain, 
Who sung the Maid of Colonsay. 

The hardy Tar, Britannia's pride. 
Shall hang his manly head in woe ; 

The Bard who told how Nelson died. 
With harp unstrung, in earth lies low. 

I see a weeping band arise, 
I hear sad music on the gale ; 

Thy dirge is sung from Scotia's skies. 
Her mountain sons their loss bewail. 

The Minstrel of thy native North 
Pours all his soul into the song; 

It bursts from near the winding Forth, 
And Highland rocks the notes prolong. 



Yes ! he who struck a matchless lyre 
O'er Flodden's field and Katrine's wave, 

With trembling- hand now leads the choir 
That mourns his Leyden's early grave. 

Song at an Anniversary Dinner in cele- 
bration of the Battle of Assaye. 

As Britannia, elate was triumphantly viewing 

The deeds of her sons in the bright page of Fame, 

And Memory's magic each joy was renewing, 

As she paus'd on the glories of Wellington's name; 

To far distant scenes her proud fancy had stray'd. 

Where her hero so often victorious had been. 
When sudden a Maid, in splendour array'd. 

Like a vision of rapture illumined the scene : 

'Twas the Genius of Asia, fair land of the Sun — 
" To me," She exclaim'd, " you your Wellington owe : 

" 'Neath my fostering clime his proud race he begun, 
" And matur'd was his fame by its cherishing glow : 

" In the morn of his life all resplendent he rose, 

"Like the sun which illumines my region's clear sky: 

" Dispers'd are his foes, and victory throws 
" Unperishing rays o'er the field of Assaye. 

"But think not, Britannia! thy children alone 

"Have my kingdoms subdued, and my subjects laid low; 

" By my own turban'd sons the proud deed has been done, 
" I myself," said the Maid, " have inflicted the blow. 

" To anarchy's horrors my realms were a prey, 

" When first on my shores thou thy banners unf url'd ; 

" I welcom'd thy sway — 'twas the morn of a day 

" Bringing freedom, and knowledge, to light a dark world. 


"Oh, Britannia!" she said, as all radiant she shone, 
Her countenance beaming with beauty divine, 

"O'er the hearts of my people establish thy throne; 
" In one wreath let the laurel and lotus entwine. 

*' Once the Star of the East shed its lustre afar, 

" And again o'er the earth shall its glories be spread, 

■" While my sons round thy car, the foremost in war, 
" Rise to fame, by such heroes as Wellington led." 

1794— IS04. 

A Scene in the Doab. 

In tangled depths the jungles spread 

Around the solitary scene, 
The lurking panther's sullen tread 

Marks the wild paths of the ravine ; 

Here too the fierce hyena prowls. 

Haunting the dark jheel's broad lagoon ; 

And here, at eve, the wolf-cub howls, 
And famished jackals bay the moon. 

A crumbling mosque — a ruined fort — 
Hastening alike to swift decay, 

Where owls and vampire bats resort. 
And vultures hide them from the day, 

Alone remain to tell the tale 

Of Moslem power, and Moslem pride, 

When shouts of conquest filled the gale 
And swords in native blood were dyed, 

They sleep — the slayer and the slain — 
A lowly grave the victor shares 

With the weak slave who wore the chain 
None save a craven spirit wears. 

Yet had the deeds which they have done 
Lived in the poet's deathless song, 

These nameless sepoys would have won 
All that to valour's hopes belong 



They brought their faith from distant landS;, 
They reared the Moslem badge on high, 

And swept away with reeking brands 
The reliques of idolatry. 

Their wreaths have faded — lizards bask 
Upon the marble pavement, where, 

'Twas erst the dark-eyed beauty's task 
To crown with flowers her raven hair. 

Unheeded now the scorpion crawls, 
And snakes unscathed in silence glide. 

Where once the bright Zenana's halls 
To woman's feet were sanctified. 

No trace remains of those gay hours 
When lamps, in golden radiance bright. 

Streamed o'er these now deserted towers 
The sunshine of their perfumed light. 

The maiden's song, the anklet's bells 
So sweetly ringing o'er the floor, 

And eyes as soft as the gazelle's 

Are heard, and seen, and felt no more. 

Now all is silent; the wild cry 
Of savage beasts alone is heard, 

Or wrathful tempest hurrying by, 
Or moanings of some desert bird. 

ISOS— 1842. 

Indian Revelry. 

We meet 'neath the sounding rafter. 

And the walls around are bare, 
As they shout to our peals of laughter, 

It seems that the dead are there; 
So stand to your glasses! steady! 

We drink in our comrades' eyes ; 
A cup to the dead already — 

Hurrah! for the next that dies. 

Not here are the goblets glowing, 

Not here is the vintage sweet; 
'Tis cold, as our hearts are growing. 

And dark, as the doom we meet. 
But stand to your glasses ! steady ! 

And soon shall our pulses rise; 
Here's a cup to the dead already — 

Hurrah! for the next that dies. 

There's many a hand that's shaking, 

And many a cheek that's sunk ; 
But soon, though our hearts are breaking. 

They'll burn with the wine we've drunk. 
So stand to your glasses! steady! 

'Tis here the revival lies ; 
A cup to the dead already ! 

And hurrah ! for the next that dies. 

49 4 


Time was when we frowned at others. 

We thought we were wiser then; 
Ha ! Ha ! let them think of their mothers 

Who hope to see them again: 
Ho! stand to your glasses! steady! 

The thoughtless are here the wise; 
Here's a cup to the dead already — 

Hurrah! for the next that dies. 

Not a sigh for the lot that darkles, 

Not a tear for the friends that sink; 
We'll fall, 'mid the wine cup's sparkles; 

As mute as the wine we drink: 
Come stand to your glasses! steady! 

'Tis this that the respite buys; 
Quaff a cup to the dead already — 

Hurrah! for the next that dies. 

There's mist on the glass congealing— 
'Tis the hurricane's fiery breath; 

And thus does the warmth of feeling 
Turn ice in the grasp of death: 

But stand to your glasses ! steady ! 
For a moment the vapour flies; 

Here's a cup to the dead already — 
Hurrah! for the next that dies. 

Who dreads to the dust returning? 

Who shrinks from the sable shore, 
Where the high and haughty yearning 

Of the soul shall sting no more? 
No! stand to your glasses! steady! 

The world is a world of lies: 
A cup to the dead already, 

And hurrah! for the next that dies. 


Cut off from the land that bore us, 

Betrayed by the land we find, 
When the brightest have gone before us. 

And the dullest remain behind ; 
Stand ! stand ! to your glasses ! steady ! 

'Tis all we have left to prize ; 
One cup to the dead already — 

Hurrah ! for the next that dies. 

The Jogi's Address to the Ganges. 

Dread power, beside thy sacred wave, 

We meet as ever now; 
To thee we pray, for thee we lave. 

But where, oh where, art thou ! 
The charmed lamp floats trembling by, 

And braves the tempest's burst; 
'Tis thus for thee we burn and die, 

But let us find thee first. 

I've sought thee in the cell of stone 

From which thy waters rise; 
I've sought thee where thy icy throne 

Is lost amid the skies ; 
And where the sister current meets 

Thine own in billowy jar ; 
In Cashee's ancient dark retreats. 

In wild and lone Hurdwar; 

I've shouted where thy torrent boiled, 

I've slumbered where it slept. 
From eager youth, to age o'ertoiled, 

I've looked for thee and wept ; 
Where'er thy sacred wave is drun^<^, 

In every haunted spot, 
I've sought thee — till my spirit sunk. 

For oh ! I found thee not. 


And still in holy dream I pace 

Thy sands the livelong day. 
And pray that our and thy disgrace. 

May quickly pass away; 
And oft I look, but still in vain, 

To see thy hoary head, 
In all an injured God's disdain, 

Uprising from thy bed. 

And when upon thy glassy stream 

Descends the glow of even, 
It seems — oh does it only seem — 

Thy wave to mix with heaven : 
I thither bend my ardent gaze, 

Till every hue be past, 
Assured that in that radiant blaze, 

Thou wilt descend at last. 

And in the solemn hour of night, 

When Nature's pulse has died. 
With many a dark and nameless rite, 

I haunt thy gloomy tide ; 
And oft I lift my voice on high, 

To chaunt the magic line, 
And start at echo's far reply, 

Half dreading it is thtne. 

And now chill age begins to creep 
In languor thro' my blood, 

And soon I seek thee — low and deep, 
Beneath thy gushing flood: 

But oh! not yet— for still I yearn, 
And still I look to see. 

The splendours of the past return. 
And all bow down to thee. 


Say, is it that thou loath'st the land 

Where palHd Mullicks reign? 
Then aid, oh aid, our feeble hands, 

Or we shall fight in vain: 
For think not that we tamely bow 

To be the things we are, 
No, they are strong — but Ganges, thou, 

Oh ! thou art stronger far. 

Lost is our sway, our land, our name, 

Low — low beneath the yoke, 
Our spirits bend in grief and shame. 

Oh ! haste ere they be broke. 
From Himalay to Serendeep, 

Ascends one endless prayer. 
Thou canst not die — thou canst not sleep, 

Then where art thou — oh where? 

The Rajpoot's Lament. 

Shades of the mighty, mighty dead. 

Then have ye lived and died in vain? 
And are ye fled, for ever fled. 

With all the glories of your reign, 
And left the world ye used to bless, 
In guilt as deep — in need no less — 
Than when ye burst upon its guilt, 
And half the blood it bore was spilt? 

The Keytrie's pride — the Brahmin's god — 
Shall both be trampled and o'erthrown? 
And the pure land your footsteps trod. 

Stoop to a race to you unknown ; 
And will ye sleep, for ever sleep, 
While good men pray, and brave ones weep, 
And native honour's latest gasp. 
Is ebbing in the oppressor's grasp? 


Whose foot is on the Brahmin's land? 

A foot the country had not borne. 
Whose hand is on the soldier brand? 

A hand the soldier holds in scorn. 
Whose lance is in the country's heart? 
A lance more odious than its smart. 
Who fill the thrones ye reared of old? 
The slaves of slaves, whose God is gold. 

Soft Gunga checks her troubled virave, 

And slave-like w^eeps with veiled brow; 
'Twas there, 'twas there ye bid us lave, 

And will ye, can ye bid us now? 
The pomp and pride of native sway, 
Our lands, our names have past away. 
And will ye never, never aid, 
To guard the rights your glory made. 

Shades of the mighty, who shall dare 

To say ye are not mighty stiU? 
Your whispers breathe in every air. 
Your spirits move in every thrill. 
Dim — thro' the misty gulf of years — 
Dim — thro' the glimmering veil of tears — 
I see ye — warriors stern and grey, 
I see ye — but no other may. 

I breathed it to the rushing flood. 

The water's murmuring voice replied; 
I breathed it to the waving wood, 

The conscious branches bowed and sighed; 
I told the rock, I told the cloud, 
And they returned it doubly loud; 
I spoke it in the haunts of men. 
And not a voice was heard again. 


Stupendous spirits — Ye could mould. 

And re-create a nation's mind; 
And will no whispering voice unfold, 

The magic art that rules mankind? 
Oh, I have mused on all ye taught, 
Till my young heart grew old with thought, 
But never yet that sacred gleam 
Has reached my soul in thought or dream. 

'Tis vain, the task is not for me; 

Fly, dreamy hopes and shadowy throne , 
My country's soul I cannot free, 

I will be master of my own; 
Shades of the mighty — yet, oh yet 
Shed o'er this heart the proud regret 
That throbs and thrills in every beat, 
A little while, and we shall meet. 

Tho' ear is deaf, and voice is dumb, 

I know the spirit dieth not; 
The ocean sleeps, the storm shall come, 

When I perchance shall be forgot; 
Enough for me If freedom's eyes 
Shall glisten where my ashes lie, 
And freedom's tardy hand confer 
A wreath on him who died for her. 

1797— 1S46. 

The Mosquito's Song. 

'Oh the pleasures of the plains 
In Bengal, and in the Rains, 
When the climate, damp and warm, 
Makes our tiny tribes to swarm 
From each puddle, from each tank, 
Fringed with vegetation rank; 
Whence, 'mid duck-weed hatched, and slime. 
In the fullness of good time, 
Shuffled off our maggot coil, 
Start we into life's turmoil, 
Clamorous, winged, and armed for fight. 
Speeding quick our eager flight, 
Ravenous, in quest of prey. 
With the sun's declining ray. 
Let us to the Fort repair, 
In the Royal Barracks — there. 
Sure to find the ruddy Griffin, 
Full of beer and full of tiffin. 
In the sultry afternoon, 
Legs on table lolling; soon 
Hies he to his tempting cot, 
Stretching him supine ; forgot 
Cares and sorrows, scanty pay. 
Duns that haunt the livelong day, 
All forgot. Anon the book. 
That in listless hand he took, 
Drops upon his breast, as close his 
Languid eyes : he yawns, he dozes ; 
Sinks at length in sleep unquiet. 
Wild fantastic visions riot. 
Flitting o'er his throbbing brain. 
Till all is chaos come again! 



Dreams he of pale Hodgson's ghost! 
Shouts again the ideal toast! 
Lo! the bottle's petticoats 
Change to gown of her he doats 
Upon: — his youthful village love, 
Left to pine while he would rove 
Foreign lands and nymphs among. 
Soft ! he lists her well known song, 
Wood-notes wild, so long, so clear, 
Echo in his straining ear! 
— Silly dreamer! wild-wood notes 
Here be none ! — save from our throats, 
Shrill ear-piercing trumps that sound, 
While we flit our victim round! 

Unsuspecting yet he lies. 
Dreaming of fair lady's eyes, 
Visionary phantasms bright. 
Mocking still his mental sight. 
Kisses, — poutings, — true-love token — 
Ancient crooked-sixpence broken — 
All in gay confusion dance. 
Then, the fond, the piercing glance 
Her bright eyes' unerring dart. 
Winged into his very heart. 

Oh the torture ! and the smart ! 
— Silly dreamer! dart or wing, 

Here be none I — save from our throats. 
Which with vigorous aim we ply, 
As the lubbard wight doth lie, 
Flushed with heat, and sleep, and ale, 
While our hovering troops assail, 
Juicy English cheek and lip; 
Thus with oft repeated dip. 
In we plunge the sharp proboscis. 
Hunger is the best of sauces. 
And we lack no cookery, 
GrifRn-blood, to relish thee! 


Thus we suck, and gaze, and swill, 
Till our reddening bodies fill; 
Wing we then our lazy flight. 
Snug to roost on giddy height. 
Shelf, or book-case, or almirah's 
Top. No rest for him ! our virus 
Quick ferments! each festering sore 
Seems a voice, cries ' Sleep no more ! 
Gnats have murdered sleep (that knits up 
Ravelled sleeve of care!') — He sits up 
Startled, — scarce awake, — head bursting, — 
— Itching, — scratching, — smarting, — thirsting ;- 
Curses deep, and loud, and long, 
Yet unsated, chaunt their song. 
f Oh the pleasures of the plains 

In Bengal, and in the Rains! 


The Pindaree, 

The steed paws the ground, with a snort and a neigh, 
The Pindaree has mounted, and hied him away; 
He has braced on his shield, and his sword by his side. 
And forth he has gone, on a foray to ride. 

His turban is twisted, and wreathed round his brow, 
Its colour as red, as his blood in its glow ; 
From his shoulder behind him his carbine is slung, 
And light o'er his saddle his long spear is hung. 

Loose streams to the wind his white flowing garb, 
And gaily bedeck'd is his Dekhani barb ; 
To the bells at his neck, that chime as they ride. 
His charger is bounding and prancing in pride. 

His comrades are joined, they are mounted alike ; 
They must drink, they must smoke, ere their tents they will 

strike — 
Their tents did I say? they are spangled and high, 
Their couches the ground, and their curtains the sky. 

Through the jungle they wend, till they reach the broad 

stream ; 
It is shallow enough, and they cross in the gleam 
Of a moon shining sweet as the smile on the face 
Of the maiden we love, and would die to embrace. 



The river is forded, the frontier is passed, 
And they reach the lone village by midnight at last : 
Would you gather its fate? In the darkness of night 
The forests around it are red in its light. 

Its dwellers have fled, in the wild woods to roam; 
All roofless and black is the place of their home; 
And their daughters, dishonoured, are weeping in vain, 
Nor will boast of their pride and their scorning again. 


The Ganges. 

Vast as a sea the Ganges flows, 
And fed by Himalaya's snows, 
Or rushing rains, with giant force 
Unwearied runs its fated course; 
The banks that skirt its lengthened way 
Boundless variety display; 
The mural height, the level green. 
The dangerous rock, the dark ravine, 
The barren sand, the fertile mound 
With maze of flowery thicket crowned. 
The cheerful lawn, or frowning glade. 
Embrowned by overhanging shade: 
The spacious plain, that waving corn. 
Orchards, or fragrant groves adorn; 
Whilst towns and hamlets intervene 
And gild with life the changing scene. 

But nature's chiefest bounties fall 
To thy productive fields, Bengal, 
It is not that the mountains rise 
Here as a pathway to the skies — 
Nor desert spreads its dreary tract — 
Nor foams the thundering cataract. 
Nor gloomy forest stretches, where 
The lion prowls or lurks the bear — 
Nor angry ocean raves and roars 
In tempest on the rocky shores — 
Though e'en of these thy wide extent 
Some awful glimpses doth present — 



But thine own honours fairest show 
Where Bhagirathi's waters flow 
In many a rich and lovely scene. 
Invested with unfading green, 
That as revolving seasons run 
Still bids defiance to the Sun. 
Upon the margin of the river 
The leafy grove is verdant ever ; 
Dark is the Mango's foliage spread; 
Erect the tall Palm lifts its head; 
Broad the Banana waves and bright; 
Graceful the Bambu bends and light; 
Boiling and black the billows flow 
The wide spread Indian fig below, 
Whose scion branches, many and vast, 
Far from the mighty parent cast, 
Above the wave extend their shade 
In columned arch and long arcade. 
And here, by native faith revered, 
The Peepul's twisted trunk is reared. 

Nor want we animation — rife 
Is all around, with busy life. 
Upon the bosom of the tide 
Vessels of every fabric ride. 
The fisher's skifif, the light canoe 
That from a single trunk they hew; 
The snake and peacock modelled boat 
In Eastern pageant sent afloat; 
The heavy barge — the ponderous bark 
Huge lumbering like another ark: 
The Bujra broad, the Bholia trim, 
Or Pinnaces that gallant swim 
With favouring breeze — or dull and slow 
Against the heady current go ; 
Creeping along the bank where pace 
The crew — a strange amphibious race, 


From morn to eve who never tire. 
Plodding through bush, and brake, and briar; 
Nov^ wading mid-deep in the mud. 
Now plunging breast-high in the flood; 
Yet as they move, the merry laugh, 
And frequent frolic, lighten half 
Their labour, till the day expires, 
When gleam along the shore the fires 
With which contented they prepare, 
Their single meal of frugal fare; 
Then to repose, at dawn again 
To brave the sun, and wind, and rain. 

Close to the marge the cattle browse, 
Or trail the rudely fashioned ploughs. 
The bufifalo, his sides to cool. 
Stands buried in the marshy pool. 
The wild duck nestles in the sedge ; 
The crane stands patient on the edge, 
Watching to seize its finny prey; 
Whilst high the skylark wings its way, 
And in the shadow of a cloud. 
Warbles its song — distinct and loud. 
Though far removed from human eye. 
The songster sails the upper sky. 
Scattered across the teeming plain 
In groups the peasants glean the grain, 
The sickle ply, or wield the hoe, 
Or seed for future harvests sow. 
Some burthened with their homely ware 
Journey to village hat or fair. 
And some suspend their toil to mark 
Inquisitive the passing bark. 

But most where to the river leads, 
The ghat, or beaten path proceeds, 
A never-ending train collects 
Of every caste, and age, and sex. 


Grave in the tide the Brahman stands, 
And folds his cord, or twirls his hands. 
And tells his beads, and all unheard 
Mutters a solemn mystic word. 
With reverence the Sudra dips, 
And fervently the current sips. 
That to his humbler hopes conveys 
A future life of happier days. 
But chief do India's simple daug-hters 
Assemble in these hallowed waters, 
With vase of classic model laden, 
Like Grecian girl or Tuscan maiden, 
Collecting thus their urns to fill 
From gushing fount or trickling rill; 
And still with pious fervour they 
To Ganga veneration pay, 
And with pretenceless rite prefer 
The wishes of their hearts to her. 
The maid or matron, as she throws 
Champac or lotus, bel or rose, 
Or sends the quivering light afloat 
In shallow cup or paper boat, 
Prays for a parent's peace and wealth. 
Prays for a child's success and health. 
For a fond husband breathes a prayer, 
For progeny their loves to share. 
For what of good on earth is given 
To lowly life, or hoped in heaven, 

And still in quick succession start 
Village and hamlet; town and mart, 
And ghats that to the stream descend. 
And temples where the votaries bend 
In homage unto stones and flowers, 
Or to less inoffensive powers. 
And hark, the sounds of horn and drum 
Along the river fitful come. 


And cymbal's clang and trumpet's wail 
Are mellowed by the wafting gale. 
*Tis Durga's festival, and hers 
The rites — and now her worshippers 
Bring forth the goddess — to and fro 
The bands in solemn pageant row. 
Hymning her praises, as they sweep 
The populous stream ; till in the deep 
They clamorous toss at set of sun 
The idol — and the rite is done. 

Such are the scenes the Ganges shows. 
As to the sea it rapid flows : 
And all who love the works to scan 
Of nature or the thoughts of man, 
May here unquestionably find 
Pleasure and profit for the mind. 


The Late Mr. Simms. 

Who did not know that Office Jaun of pale Pomona green. 
With its drab and yellow lining, and picked out black between. 
Which down the Esplanade did go at the ninth hour of the 

yVe ne'er shall see it thus again, — Alas ! and well-a-day ! 

With its bright brass patent axles, and its little hog-maned 

And its ever jetty harness, which was always made by Watts, 
The harness black and silver, and the ponies of dark grey, 
And shall we never see it more, — Alas! and well-a-day! 

With its very tidy coachman with a very old grey beard. 
And its pair of neat clad sayces, on whom no spot appeared. 
Not sitting lazily behind, but running all the way 
By Mr. Simms' little coach — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And when he reached the counting house he got out at the 

And entering the office made just three bows and no more, 
Then passing through the clerks he smiled, a sweet smile 

and a gay, 
And kindly spoke the younger ones — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And all did love to see him with his jacket rather long, 
It was the way they wore them when good Mr. Simms was 

With his Nanke«^n breeches buckled by two gold buckles 

And his China tight silk stockings, pink and shiny, well-a- 



,With his little frill like crisped snow, his waistcoat spotless 

His cravat very narrow and a very little tight. 
And a blue brooch, where, in diamond sparks, a ship at 

anchor lay, 
The gift of Mr. Cruttenden — Alas! and well-a-day! 

Then from the press where it abode, he took the ledger stout. 
And looked upon it reverently, withinside and without. 
Then placed his pencils, rubber, pens and knives in due array. 
And Mr. Simms was ready for the business of the day. 

And ever to the junior clerks his counsel it was wise, 
That they shall loop their I's, and cross their t's, and dot 

their i's, 
And honor Messrs. Sheringham, Leith, Badgery and Hay, 
Whom he had served for forty years — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And a very pleasant running hand good Mr. Simms did write, 
His up-strokes were like gossamer, his down strokes black 

as night, 
And his lines all clear and sparkling like a rivulet in May, 
Meandered o'er the folios — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And daily in a silver dish, as bright as bright could be, 
At one o'clock his tiffin came, two sandwiches, or three, 
It never came a minute soon, nor a minute did delay, 
So punctual were good Mr. Simms' people — well-a-day! 

And in the Mango season still a daily basket came. 
With fruit as green as emeralds or ruddier than flame ; 
By Mr. Simms the sort had been imported from Bombay 
And sown and grown beneath his eye — Alas ! and well-a-day I 

And when his tiffin it was done, he took a pint precise 
Of well cooled soda water, but it was not cooled with ice, 
And a little ginger essence (Oxley's) Mr. Simms did say 
It comforted his rheumatiz' — Alas! and well-a-day! 


Then on a Sunday after prayers, while waiting in the porch. 
His talk was of the Bishop, and the vestry, and the church; 
And two or three select young men would dine with him 

that day 
To taste his old Madeira, and his curry called Malay. 

For famous was the table that good Mr. Simms did keep 
With his home fed ducks, his Madras fowls, and gram fed 

Patna sheep,. 
And the fruits from his own garden, and the dried fish from 

the Bay, 
Sent up by bold Branch Pilot Stout — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And he was full of anecdote, and spiced his prime Pale Ale 
With many a cheerful bit of talk, and many a curious tale^ 
How Dexter ate his buttons off, and in a one horse chay 
My Lord Cornwallis drove about — Alas! and well-a-day! 

And every Doorga Poojah would good Mr. Simms explore^ 
The famous river Hoogly up as high as Barrackpore, 
And visit the menagerie, and in his pleasant way, 
Declare that all the bears were bores — Alas! and well-a-day J 

Then, if the weather it was fine, to Chinsura he'd go, 
With his nieces three in a Pinnace, and a smart young man 

or so, 
In bright blue coats, and waistcoats, which were sparkling 

as the day. 
And curly hair, and white kid gloves, a lover like array. 

And at Chinsura, they walked about and then they went to 

With the ancient merchant Van der Zank, and the widow 

Van der Zee, 
They were old friends of Mr. Simms, and parting he would 

" Perchance we ne'er may meet again " — ^Alas, and well-a- 
day f 


At length the hour did come for him, which surely comes 

for all, 
From the beggar in his hovel to the monarch in his hall, 
And when it came to Mr. Simms, he gently pass'd away, 
As falling into pleasant sleep — Alas, and well-a-day! 

And on his face there lingered still a sweet smile and a 

His Bible lying by his side, and some roses in his hand; 
His spectacles still marked the place where he had read 

that day. 
The words of faith and hope which cheered his spirit on 

its way. 

And many were the weeping friends whp followed him 

next night. 
In many mourning coaches, found by Solitude and Kyte. 
And many a circle still laments the good, the kind, the gay, 
The hospitable Mr. Simms, — Alas ! and well-a-day ! 

Calcutta Stanzas for the Month of May. 

Happy the man, whose hair and beard 
Are glittering stiff with ice and snow, 

Whose purple face with sleet is sear'd. 
His nose also. 

Happy the man whose fingers five 
Seem to have left him altogether. 

And feet are scarcely more alive 
In wintry weather. 

And happier he, who heavenly cold. 
From warmth and sunshine far away, 

Lives till his freezing blood grows old 
At Hudson's Bay. 

He in a beauteous basin, wrought 

Of frozen quicksilver, his feet 
May lave in water down to nought 

Of Fahrenheit. 


The whole year round too, if he pleases, 
Far from the sun's atrocious beams 

He may, unbaked by burning breezes, 
Live on ice creams. 

And if for comfort, or for pride, 

He wants shirt, breeches, coat, or vest; 

Let him but bathe, then step outside, 
And Lo — he's drest! 

Drest in habiliments of ice, 

More bright than those of old put on 

At royal birthdays, by the nice 
Beau Skeffington. 

Happy the man, again I sing, 

Who thus can freeze his life away, 

Far from this hot blast's blustering. 
At Hudson's Bay. 

Oh that 'twere mine to be so blest. 
For while my very bones are grilling, 

The thoughts of such a place of rest 
Are really thrilling. 

Instead of jackets, I would wear 
A coat of sleet, with snow lapelles, 

Neatly embroidered here and there 
With icicles. 

Snow shoes should brace my burning feet. 
And how I should enjoy a shiver, 

While snow I'd drink, and snow I'd eat, 
To cool my liver. 

But all in vain I sigh for lands 

Where happy cheeks with cold look blue. 

While here i' the shade the mercury stands 
At Ninety-two. 


The Adjutant Bird. 

A Bengal Eclogue. 

Leave me, my friend — for now they suit right well 
The hour — the gloomy scene — and mine own mood : 

The rain will not return — too late it fell, 
Besides I've a great coat — don't think me rude; 

But au revoir — you dine out too — 'tis late; 

And the Fitz-Huggenses, you know, don't wait. 

Pat, pat — how that mare steps out with the buggy ; 

Charles is a judge of horses — so a'nt I, 
Whew ! what a night — now damp and chill, now muggy, 

And what a scene around and what a sky. 
As if sad Nature wove a funeral pall 
For one of her worst handyworks — Bengal. 

Even as I speak — the driving rain descends. 

Not in a gentle sentimental shower. 
But one that drenches to the finger ends 

In less that half the tenth part of an hour, 
Roaring and hissing as it falls — in fact 
A specimen of " Heaven born " cataract. 

And as it rattles down a mist arises 

From out the hot breast of the batter'd ground, 
Hiding the " Palaces " of sorts and sizes 

That spread in whitewash'd majesty around; 
Hiding the city lights, the dome, the fort; 
All that is more than three yards off, in short. 

And just within that distance, I behold 

A figure grizzled and austere, like Time, 
Save that 'tis twice as grim, and twice as old, 

A creature that must sure have seen the prime 
Of the fresh, beautiful earth — and after that 
Left Noah's Ark ashore on Ararat. 


It hath a solemn, sober, staid demeanour, 
Like the head usher on a flogging day, 

Two glassy eyes, that have no more of keen or 
Living glances, than two balls of clay; 

And legs like wither'd reeds ; long, white and small. 

Fit for the very Genius of Bengal. 

Yes, such must be the Genius of the Land; 

We all have seen him through the twilight dim 
On some tall sepulchre assume his stand. 

Silent and motionless, and grey and grim, 
As if in gloomy joy he brooded o'er 
Those who had come to perish on his shore. 

Say I not sooth, thou dull and dingy thing, 
Genius, Argeelah, Adjutant, whate'er 

Name thou affectest most? — Could I not sing 
Of wretchedness as plenteous as the air, 

The burning air we breathe? — but I'll not grumble 

Though all our hopes each day become more humble. 

No — rather now that thou and I together 
Are standing by the side of this lone swamp. 

Thy smiling home perhaps, and that the weather 
Is tolerably cool, though somewhat damp, 

Just fit for conversational enjoyments. 

Would ask you of your past life and employments. 

I've mentioned my opinion of your age, 

So, without loss of time, we pass that over, 
No doubt you saw King Sudraka, the Sage, 

Write of Vansantasena and her lover, 
But pass that too — and above all don't bore us 
With tales of Alexander and King Porus. 

Though thou didst stand by Attock, and beheld 
Greek armour glancing in the Indian sun. 

Helmet, and crest, and spear, and bossy shield. 
Like a bright winding river on the dun 

And restless desert — while the air around 

Shook with the Macedonian trumpet's sound. 


Ha ! one plumed warrior plunges in the stream, 
His horse paws up a cloud of glittering spray, 

His broad short sword is flashing like a beam 
Of sunshine on a cataract — the array 

Wheel round him in a blazing curve — 'tis he ! 

Olympia's son — the Lord of Victory! 

Glory and gore — a dazzling ghastly mist 
Forming the fiery halo round his name. 

His banners never but by triumph kissed, 

The empires, that were counters in his game. 

Make the bright bloody jumble which we ponder 

In musing o'er the life of Alexander. 

Yes, there he stands, who to his golden car 

Chained fortune, — scanning with his eagle glances 

The iron files of Macedonia's war, 

Veterans as tough and fearless as their lances. 

And ready right or wrong to have a fling 

At good King Porus, here called Bulwunt Sing„ 

Doubtless, oh Adjutant! thou sawest this, 
And also Genghiz Khan and Timoor Beg, 

And the stern Lord of Ghuzni ; he whose bliss 
Was breaking Shiva's head, or Indra's leg; 

But turn to greater heroes — chief of which is 

A paunchy looking man with crimson breeches; 

As Zoffany has painted — by his side 

Stands Jaffier Ally Cawn ; to whom you know 

The British warrior, with a modest pride. 
Is lending half a sovereignty or so. 

Jaffier looks blandly, with a smile paternal. 

But nathless wishes Satan had the Colonel. 

The Colonel ! — a Napoleon in his sphere, 
Grasping as brave, unscrupulous as wise; 

A kind of legal, regal buccaneer. 

Who treated empires like a Spanish prize ; 

Took, spoiled, broke into fragments ; but alive 

Or dead, few mate with that same Colonel Clive. 


So hasten, tell me, for my soul's on fire 

Thinking of those great days of glorious strife. 

When Gunga's hollow banks rang with that lyre 
And shell of Britain, called the drum and fife ; 

Did'st thou behold those heroes who of yore 

Batter'd Budge Budge, and took Chandanagore? 

Immortal men ; — were not their glorious brows 
With laurels, powder and pomatum cover'd, 

Besides gold laced cock'd hats; with many rows 

Of curls that shook not, though above them hover'd 

The wings of Victory? whose first rich fruits 

Were shared by folks with tie wigs and jack boots. 

Men who prepared ambrosial Sangaree, 

And double Sangaree or Sangarorum ; 
Now took a fleet, now sold a pound of tea. 

Weighed soap, storm'd forts, held princes in terrorem. 
Drank, fought, smoked, lied, went home, and good papas, 
Gave diamonds to their little boys for taws. 

Happy those times, my Adjutant, when " Chiefs " 
Ruled Provinces for four half crowns per day, 

Yet prospered somehow, even as the sheaves 

Which dreaming Pharoah saw. — Fat kine were they. 

We are the lean — nor were their gleanings less 

Through any freedom of the Indian Press. 

Ah why was I not born in those blest days, 
Truly the Golden Age of such as came 

To live on brandy punch and dare the blaze 
Of our Bengally sunshine — 'tis a shame 

That all the golden hues which shine in this age 

Shine less upon the pocket than the visage. 

Ha! dost thou answer! no, it is the sigh 
Of a more drear and melancholy blast, 

On dusky wings a wilder storm draws nigh, 
And from its lair the thunder wakes at last, 

A danker mist thicks the dull air of night 

And shuts my gaunt companion from my sight. 


But first, one rattle of that bony beak 
Rings like a bell funereal through the air, 

Saying, as plain as ominous sound can speak, 
" Thou curious fool, of thine own doom beware. 

Perchance the next grey tomb I make my throne. 

If thou stand'st chattering here — may be thine own.** 

The Mussulman's Lament over the body; 

of Tippoo Sultan. 

Wrifien on the spot where he fell. 

Light of my faith ! thy flame is quench'd 

In this deep night of blood; 
The sceptre from thy race is wrenched. 

And of the brave who stood 
Around thy Musnud, strong and true. 

When this day's sunrise on the brow 
Of yonder mountains glanced, how few 

Are left to weep thee now! 

Star of the battle ! thou art set ; 

But thou didst not sink down. 
As those who could their fame forget, 

Before the tempest's frown ; 
As those crown'd dastards, who could crave 

The mercy of their haughty foes. 
Better to perish with the brave. 

Than live and reign like those. 

No! thou hast to thy battle-bed 

Rush'd like thy native sun. 
Whose fiercest, brightest rays are shed 

When his race is nearest done ; 
Where sabres flash'd and vollies rang. 

And quickest sped the parting breath. 
Thou, from a life of empire, sprang 

To meet a soldier's death. 


Thy mighty father joyfully 

Look'd from his throne on high; 
He mark'd his spirit live in thee, 

He smiled to see thee die ; 
To see thy sabre's last faint sweep 

Tinged with a foeman's gore ; 
To see thee sink to the hero's sleep, 

With thy red wounds all before. 

The faithful, in their emerald bowers 

The toobah-tree beneath, 
Have twined thee of unfading flowers, 

The martyr's glorious wreath; 
And dark-eyed girls of Paradise, 

Their jewell'd kerchiefs wave, 
,To welcome to their crystal skies 

The Sultan of the brave. 

The Return from IncJia. 

I sit beside my lonely hearth. 

Long years of toil and exile past. 
My life is in its twilight path, 

Still I have reached my home at last; 
But other hands now cull its flowers, 

But other footsteps tread its floor, 
That clock still chimes the silver hours, 

But those who heard it hear no more. 

I am a stranger in my hall, 

The hearts which made it glad are cold. 
Young voices answer to my call, 

But not the tones I loved of old; 
With happy looks they bid me tell 

Some story of the days gone by. 
Or speak of those I loved so well, 

I can but answer with a sigh. 


With smiles they urge me to recall 

The memory of their childhood's prime, 
For they were happy children all 

When last I left my native clime; 
But as they speak some cherished trait 

Arises with each look and tone, 
Of those whose love has past away, 

Of those who are for ever gone. 

I wander on the breezy hill, 

By hazel copse, in dingle green, 
I pause beside the gushing rill, 

When summer twilight sings serene ; 
Each well-remembered scene is there 

Fresh as when first it met my sight, 
But where are all the feelings, where. 

Which made it still more dear than bright? 

The harvest moon is rising now 

O'er glorious fields of ripened grain. 
And on the breeze that cools my brow 

The bells of many a harvest wain 
Come soft and sweet; but sweeter yet 

Yon spire on which the moonshine glows. 
That tells me where I shall forget 

Life's toils and hopes in death's repose. 


Lines to the Memory of David Hare. 

O'er the vast waste of waters — from a land 
Small but renowned — a proud undaunted band, 
Stirred with the thirst of conquest and of gold. 
Came — traded — triumphed! History never told 
Of monarch-merchants — heroes wandering far — 
A stranger tale of traffic or of war. 

But can the busy mart, the battle field, 

The dearest wealth — the brightest triumph yield? 

Ah! no: e'en now our generous rulers claim 

A prouder guerdon and a purer fame. 

Though gold was gained and martial glory won, 

They knew their noblest task was not begun. 

They held our lands, but could not hold our hearts. 

Till, changing force for kindness, arms for arts, 

They proffered the rich wisdom of the west. 

And poorest minds with priceless treasures blest! 

In this divinest duty many a heart. 

With holy zeal, hath well sustained its part — 

All these our guides — an honour to their land — 

To ours a blessing — grateful love command ; 

But in the glorious list, beyond compare, 

In types of light, behold the name of HARE! 

Ah, warm philanthropist! ah, faithful friend! 
Thy life devoted to one generous end — 
To bless the Hindu mind with British lore, 
And truth's and nature's faded lights restore- 


If for a day that lofty aim was crost, 

You grieved, like Titus, that a day was lost. 

Alas! it is not now a few brief hours 

That fate withholds — a heavier grief o'erpowers 

A nation whom you loved as if your own — 

A life that gave the life of life is gone! 

Yet oh! my countrymen, why weep in vain? 
If aught may cause an earth-freed spirit pain, 
'Tis when it sees in fond hearts left below 
An unresigned and unavailing woe. 
Be sighs above the grave breathed forth no more; 
The gods are deaf when men the past deplore; 
But let a friend's true merit best be proved 
By imitative zeal in acts he loved. 
His memory thus with loftiest lessons rife 
May well complete the purpose of his life, 
And while our Hindu youth Mind's blessings share 
They'll learn to venerate the name of HARE! 

To Laha Pennoo : The God of War. 

A Khoond War Lyric. 

Great God of battles ! Oh, forgive 

(For thou our wants and weakness saw,) 

If we so long have seemed to live 
Regardless of thy glorious law; 

Our herds were few, our fields were bare. 

Our bravest warriors bowed with care. 

Fate wore for us a scowling brow, 
And Famine haunted cot and bower. 

And some the fever-blasts laid low. 
And some the wild beasts dared devour; 

Unnerved is many a manly limb. 

And many a dauntless eye is dim. 


Oh Laha Pennoo! Lord of Strife! 

Oh watch our weapons as thine own! 
And at each mark of mortal life 

Direct the shaft and hurl the stone; 
Make wide the wounds on every frame, 
Deface the dead, the living maim. 

Oh! let our ponderous axes fall 

Like blows of death from tiger-paws. 

Or crush bone, flesh, and garb, and all. 
As 'twixt the fierce hyena's jaws; 

Let arms not ours as brittle be 

As long pods of the karta tree. 

Each aim misguide, unnerve each hand 
Of those to mock our might that dare, 

Make all their weapons light as sand, 
Or mowa blossoms borne on air ; 

Or let our wounds quick dry again, 

As blood-drops on the dusty plain. 

May every axe wear ruddy hue 

As home we come from victory's field; 

And while our women, proud and true, 
Their stores of sweet refreshment yield. 

May neighbouring Beauties seek our bowers. 

And yearn to mix their blood with ours. 

Our war-gained wealth let all behold, 
Brass vessels, herds and scented leaf. 

And maids present to parents old 
The trophies of our struggle brief; 

And fowl and buflfalo and sheep 

Thy shrine in sacred blood shall steep. 

Oh! Laha Pennoo! God of War! 

Not new the favor now we crave; 
For thy fierce smile, like lurid star, 

Oft led to strife our fathers brave; 
And we their sons, when danger lours. 
Still hail their honored God and ours! 


^ =To Bera Pennoo : The Earth Goddess. 

An Invocation before Human Sacrifice. 

Goddess of earth! Dread source of ill! 
Thy just revenge o'erwhelms us still 

For rites unpaid; 
But oh! forgive! — Our stores are small, 
Our lessened means uncertain all. 

Denied thine aid. 

Goddess that taught mankind to feel 
Poison in plants, and death in steel — 

A fearful lore — 
Forgive — forgive! and ne'er again 
Shall we neglect thy shrine to stain 

With human gore ! 

Let plenty all our land o'erspread. 

Make green the ground with living bread. 

Our pastures fill 
So close with cattle side by side 
That no bare spot may be descried 

From distant hill. 

And when unto the broad flat pool. 
Their thirst to quench, their sides to cool, 

Our herds are led; 
So num'rous make them that no form 
Of fish or frog, or toad or worm, 

Survive their tread. 

So fill with sheep each ample fold 

That he who digs man-deep the mould, 

Their compost rare. 
Meet not a stone. May swine abound 
Until their plough-like snouts the groimd 

For seed prepare. 



So fill our cots with childhood's din 
The voice be rarely heard within, 

And ne'er without ; 
Each thatch with crowded poultry hide, 
Give jars that bruise the fountain's side 
With metal stout. 

Oh! Bera Pennoo! once again 
Protect us in the grove and plain 

From beasts of prey; 
Nor let sly snake or tiger bold 
Fright children, save in stories old 

Of Fathers grey. 

Oh ! make it each man's only care 
Yearly to build a store-room fair 

For goods unspent; 
And we thy rites shall duly pay: — 
Lo! one bought victim now we slay — 

One life present. 

The Final Toast. 

A Masonic Song. 
"Are your glasses charged in the West and South?" the 

Worshipful Master cries; 

"They are charged in the West," — "They are charged in the 

South," are the Wardens' prompt replies; 

"Then to our final toast to-night your glasses fairly drain — 



The Mason's social brotherhood around the festive board 
Reveals a wealth more precious far than selfish miser's 

hoard ; 

They freely share the priceless stores that generous hearts 

contain — 




We work like Masons free and true, and when our task is 

A merry song and a cheering glass are not unduly won ; 
And only at our farewell pledge is pleasure touched with 

pain — 


Amidst our mirth we drink "To all poor Masons o'er the 

On every shore our flag of love is gloriously unfurled; 
We prize each brother, fair or dark, who bears no moral 

stain — 


The Mason feels the noble truth the Scottish peasant told. 
That rank is but the guinea's stamp, the man himself's the 

gold ; 
With us the rich and poor unite and equal rights maintain — 


Dear Brethren of the mystic tie, the night is waning fast — 
Our duty's done — our feast is o'er — this song must be our last, 
Good-night — good-night — once more, once more, repeat the 

farewell strain — 




The Adjutant and the Crow. 

Once on a time, the story goes, 
A flock of noisy idle crows, 
Of what to do, for very want. 
Got round about an Adjutant, 
And tried who most could tease this king 
Of all the birds, that ply the wing 
From muddy Hooghly's swampy shores.. 
To Delhi's princely halls and doors. 
At first, the crows, at distance due, 
Around the stately giant drew, 
And hopp'd,, and caw'd their very best 
To break their sovereign's noon-tide rest: 
But he, unmindful of such fry. 
With in-drawn neck, and half-closed eye 
And only one leg on the ground, 
Enjoy'd the creaking hackery's sound, 
Which reach'd him on the sunny bank, 
LoU-diggee of thy spacious tank: 
And, every now and then, he'd wake, 
And just a dainty morsel take 
Of a dead cat, which he had found 
That morning near the burying ground. 
By suff 'ranee, soon much bolder grown. 
The crows thought all the fun their own. 
One, at his tail, began the attack, 
Another perch'd upon his back; 
And while a third beside him sat, 
A fourth was trying to steal his cat, 



Incens'd at such unlook'd-for jokes, 

The bird let fly some random strokes, 

Disabled two unlucky crows. 

And dealt, besides, some awkward blows; 

But scarce had time to rest, before 

The crows began to tease once more ; 

For coming now, in greater numbers, 

They fairly spoilt his kingship's slumbers. 

That little imps, like these, should dare 

To pass a joke, was something rare ; 

But that they'd chosen him to be 

Food for their mirth, was far too free ; 

And thinking thus, he judg'd it best, 

To put the thing at once to rest, 

That crows might, thenceforth, learn to know 

How much he differed from a crow; 

So, just as one unlucky wight 

Was landing from his downward flight, 

He open'd wide his ample bill, 

And soon the crow was snug and still 

Within that dark and dreary bourne, 

Whence Cats and Crows can ne'er return. 

From this let every jester learn 

His proper objects to discern ; 

It is not safe to pass one's jokes 

On Kings, and Queens, and such-like folks; 

For though the great may relish wit, 

They may not choose to furnish it ; 

And jesters who have any sense. 

Will seldom jest at their expense. 


The Bumper of Claret. 

Now for the hour that is sweetest of all, Sirs, 

'Tis sacred to mirth, to good humour, and wine, 
Fairer than any that lazily crawl, Sirs, 

Thro' dullardized space in the garish sunshine ; 
Haste then, and let not an instant be wasted, 

For fleetly flies Time, and we can but ill spare it,— 
To do it due honour or ever 'tis past yet. 

Baptise its arrival in bumpers of Claret. 

Then here's to the being still free and light-hearted^ 
Who ne'er cares o'er the woes of this world to repine. 
But tho' he and false Fortune be long ago parted. 
Still moistens his woes with a bumper of wine. 

Soother of care and promoter of revels, 

What'er be your ills, Claret ne'er comes amiss; 
Take my receipt and the grimmest blue devils 

Will beam like Hope's self, if ye plunge them in this; 
Not the cheek of a beauty who saints might beguile. Sirs, 

Her form nor her face, I can freely declare it 
Could look now half so sweet in my eyes, as the smile. Sirs, 

That dimples the cheek of my bumper of Claret. 

I once heard a tale — from my Grannie I took it, Sirs, 

How the great globe was erst covered with rain, 
When all our poor dads, like blind pups in a bucket, Sirs, 

Sank, and, as she said, ne'er came up again; 
Ever since that, in respect to their memory, 

Water I've hated — O Lord I can't bear it ! 
And I'm never myself after mentioning them, ere I 

Wash out the thought with a bumper of Claret. 



There was once an old sage — 'twas some d — d fool or other — 


'Tis I don't know, on his name I can't fix — 
But he wrote nine huge folios and tried to discover how 

Solids and fluids most properly mix — 
I've found out the secret so long from his view hid, 

I found it — and let every friend I have share it, — 
The properest mixture of solid and fluid. 

Is a dinner like this one well washed down with Claret. 

Then here's to the being still free and light-hearted, 
Who ne'er cares o'er the woes of this world to repine, 
But tho' he and false Fortune be long ago parted, 
Still moistens his woes with a bumper of wine. 

A Ballad. 

" A ballad dedicated to the Junior Members of the Bengal Civil 
Service and intended to have been sung at the Albion Tavern 
on the occasion of a recent Viceregal Inauguration 
Dinner." 1836. 

No, neither sinecure, nor mastership in chancery, 
Nor post, nor place, nor pension for a younger son ! 
Hume, Grote, and vile Lord John have dished our only 

chance or I 
Might help you, but our halcyon days are almost gone ; 
A failing bar, a falling bench, and, what must most disgust 

us is 
No hope for briefless barristers, no hole for Lord Augustuses : 
The fact is, dear Sir Robert, (to conceal it were hypocrisy) 
Lord Brougham and Vaux, the man that talks, has swamped 

the aristocracy. 
Thus you may see neither sinecure nor chancery. 
Nor post, nor place, avail us now for younger sons. 


But (as the boys must eat) let's see what's on the tapis 

now, — 
With army full and navy dull, what can be said? 
Join the Canadian O'Connell, Monsieur Papineau, 
Or Cavaliero Evans's Isle of Dogs brigade? 
Command King Otho's grenadiers (supposing that he's got 

Or live on hope and kangaroo near much-belauded Botany: 
Try Sidney, Perth, Van Dieman, or (I'd have you keep on 

all an eye) 
My cousin Colonel Torrens' new pound-an-acre colony? 
Here then's some hope without sinecure or chancery, 
To pick up something decent for a younger son. 

Yet 'tis cold comfort, for the price-makes-value principle 
May suit well-dinnered theorists, but won't suit you; 
He who eats may argue, but say how is he convincible. 
Who has to prove in person if the fact be true? 
You'll send Bill there? — he must go somewhere — yet, 

Sir Robert, that I call, 
Merely making him a victim to economists dogmatical: 
No, with your backstairs interest (than which nothing better 

wheedles) treat 
The potentates by patent at the large house near Thread- 
They (worthy gentlemen) sans sinecure or chancery. 
Will give you quid pro quo, and aid a younger son. 

Yes, Bill must go, for see how great our population is 
With anti-nuptial Malthusites in dire dismay! 
Miss Martineau's preventive check, Sir, now our sole 

salvation is. 
Yet flesh and blood is flesh and blood say what you may: • 
Bill's a clever chap, too, and can turn his hand to any thing, 


Don't forget you can't afford to furnish him a yearly income ; 


As Bob, your eldest born, alas ! his cash at Rouge et 

Noir gages, 

Let Billy broil in Bundelcund to balance Bobby's mortgages. 
Thus, think no more, my friend, of sinecure or chancery, 
We'll humanise the Hindoos with our younger sons. 

Quick, though be quick, all the youngster's doubts anticipate, 
Heat, tigers, liver, cholera, in that far land; 
Words, a few words, somewhat plausible will dissipate 
Such triflng fears which never in his way should stand: 
If you find your rhetoric unequal to effect or do it. 
Hold your tongue, and let your friend the I — H — 

D — r — ct — r do it: 
He with glance paternal, which unused to gibe or scoff is, 

Will humbug as sublimely as a trained recruiting officer. 
Trust, trust to him (hang your sinecure or chancery,) 
He'll dispose to best advantage of a younger son. 

Hark ! only hark ! with what bland and cool complacency 
He numbers o'er the blessing of the great C. S. — 
Tells what they were, just perhaps by way of decency 
Allowing now they may, indeed, be somewhat less ; 
" Still though credit, fame, rupees, and such like things in 

Wait for ever on the E — t I — n C — y's civilians: 
If, dear Bill, you keep from debt, you soon may see yourself 

in stone 
Immortalised by Chantrey like our great Mountstuart 

Sure, this is better. Sir, than sinecure or chancery, 
Thus to gudgeonize at second-hand a younger son ! 

" Jhen as to fortune why, convinced of this, dear Bill, I am. 
About twelve years will see you home, quite at your ease : 
Since, too, we've done away the College of Fort William, 
Both marriages and debt are much on the decrease : 


Also we've adopted (lest you should not prove obedient 
When ordered from Calcutta) this most excellent expedient; 
Writers very oft are packed in palanquins (like cages) 

And thus sent off to learn Oordoo with some upcountry 

Sure, this is better. Sir, than sinecure or chancery, 
Such care ('tis quite parental) of our younger sons! 

"All you've to learn are some few dialects, (you'll do it; if 
You don't why you're deported) in about a year: 
That's for you writers, but such knowledge is intuitive 
In soldiers, old or young — at least that's what we hear: 
Ensigns, day by day, poor boys, dragged roaring from their 

mess awav. 
Forced to rule whole districts, hit or miss, surmise and 

guess away: 
Meanwhile you, lucky dog, in happy ease your bile 

As seventh sub-assistant in some excellent collectorate ! " 
Who would wish for sinecure or mastership in chancery. 
With such immense advantages for younger sons? 

Here he stops: 'twere time he should, for Billy might look 

cross upon it. 
Had he heard his Mentor by mistake rehearse 
The orthodox Bentinckian creed with Mr. Ross's gloss upon 

Here it is for you, though. Sir, in doggerel verse. 
" All but B. C. S. collectors for their offices sufficient are ! 
All moonsiffs are immaculate, all judges inefficient are ! 
No military favourite (whatever his condition) errs ! 
And colonels of artillery are heaven-born commissioners !" ^ 
Mum though, compared with joys of sinecure or 

This might turn out discouraging to younger sons. 


No, let him have just enough of these and other things 
To mystify, not satisfy, his anxious mind; 
You'll see 'tis best in uncertainty to smother things. 
As soon as he's in Hindostan the truth he'll find. 
If after all an Indian life Bill be not quite decided for, 
Never mind, at any rate a younger son's provided for: 
If averse he feel, when first by heat oppressed or thinned, 

to it. 
He'll (take my w^ord) get used ere long, as eels do when 

they're skinned, to it. 
Thus without sinecure or mastership in chancery. 
Here's excellent provision for our younger sons! 


Lines Written on Recovering from 
Sickness, September, 1834. 

I stood upon the shores of Hindustan, 

A solitary man; 

And a voice came pealing across the sea, 

Unheard by all but me ; 

And the voice said "Up ; and be gone my son, 

This land is not for thee. 

"Why hast thou left thine own sweet country's bowers. 

And all its world of flowers? 

Why hast thou left a home of quiet bliss 

For such a clime as this? 

Up ; and begone, my son, and quit this land ; 

Thou know'st not what it is. 

"Why should'st thou leave a shore, where all is green, 

Fresh, lovely, and serene ; 

To seek a country far across the sea 

Where winds blow parchingly. 

And grim disease comes stalking o'er the plain, 

Ready to light on thee." 

"Dost thou seek glory?— Why abroad then roam? 
Have we not that at home? 
Dost thou seek riches? — Oh, believe me. Son, 
That such a goal when won 
Will not repay thee for the weary race 
Thou, seeking it, hast run." 



But stubbornness was in my heart ; and I 

Turn'd away silently: 

Yet still I could but hear the warning voice — 

" Methinks, thou dost rejoice 

In this thine exile " — then I answer made 

"Alas! 'twas not my choice." 

Much did I marvel what the voice could be, 

That thus importuned me; 

And I cried out — " Those tones, oh ! whose are they 

That now I hear — oh ! say : 

Me-thought at first it was my mother's voice: 

That thought has died away; 

" And now I know not " — Then the voice replied 

" I am thy friend — thy guide — 

Thou hast none such throughout this teeming earth; 

E'en from thy very birth, 

I have watched o'er thee ; and I charge thee now, 

Reseek thy father's hearth." 

Then sickness came upon me : and I lay 

For many a weary day, 

Cursing the hour, when first I saw the light: 

At morn I pray'd for night, 

And when night came I long'd for day to burst 

Upon my straining sight. 

Then I had visions, though I never slept. 

But aye my senses kept — 

Wild, troubled visions which I could not quell, 

Although I knew right well. 

That my distempered brain saw many things 

Which were invisible. 

And as I lay upon the bed of pain, 

I heard the voice again ; 

"My son, dost thou believe me?" — and I cried 

" Oh ! my best friend — my guide — 

Whatever thou mayest be, relieve me, and 

Thou shalt be deified." 


Then the voice said — "Thou needest not repine, 

The hand, which smote, is mine ; 

And I smite whom I love.— Yet I will save 

Thy body from the grave; 

And when thou standest up, thou wilt regard 

The counsel which I gave." 

And out I spake — " Whatever thou may'st be 

Who thus dost counsel me — 

Thou unembodied, formless eloquence, 

Whence comest thou — oh whence?" 

And the voice answered in the gentlest tones 

"My name is PROVIDENCE." 

IS20— 1869. 

The Chee-Chee Ball. 

The Chee-Chees held high festival in old Domingo's Hall, 
And I was there, tho' I was not invited to the ball; 
But they receiv'd me kindly, all owing, as I trust. 
To my appearance proving me one of the " upper crust." 

And merrily I pass'd the time, although 'twas somewhat 

slow — 
I danced like mad each polka, with lots of heel and toe: 
For Chee-Chees think that polkas are very like Scotch reels. 
And that to dance them properly you must kick up your 


And there was one, a petite belle, a modest little girl. 
Her hair was twisted down her cheeks in many a spiral curl; 
Her teeth were polish'd ivory, her eyes were very bright. 
And the little thing look'd blacker from being dress'd in 


And ever as I saw this girl, I mark'd a little man 
Whom lovingly she ogled behind her pretty fan: 
They always danced together, or, as far as I could see. 
When they couldn't dance together they stood up vis-a-vis. 

Now while the supper disappear'd, I sought for fresher air, 
Hy nose 'mid Kentish hop-grounds rear'd is not the nose 

to bear 
The scent of oil of cocoanut with that of bad perfume. 
And the odour of hot dishes in a densely crowded room. 



And while I stroU'd alone outside I started at the sound 
Of whispering voices near me — I turn'd and gazed around; 
Yes, there they were, that happy pair, their steps they slowly 

Her arm was on his shoulder, and his was round her waist; 

And, wandering by thus lovingly, their words fell on my ear, — 
For he had slightly raised his voice, not thinking I was near, 
And the very moon look'd clearer, and brighter shone each 

star, — 
As the little man imploringly said — " Betsy, bolo hah ! " 

I turn'd and quickly left the spot, I did not like to stay, 
To be, as I must else have been, in those two lovers' way; 
(To spoil such sport has ever been from my intention far) 
And as I walk'd away I heard her gently murmur " Hah." 


The Suppliant Dove. 

Chased by a hawk, there came a dove 

With worn and weary wing, 
And took her stand upon the hand 

Of Kasi's noble king. 

The monarch smoothed her ruffled plumes. 

And laid her on his breast ; 
And cried, " No fear shall vex thee here, 

Rest, pretty egg-born, rest ! 

Fair Kasi's realm is rich and wide, 

With golden harvests gay, 
But all that's mine will I resign 

Ere I my guest betray." 

But, panting for his half-won spoil, 

The hawk was close behind. 
And with wild eye and eager cry 

Came swooping down the wind : 

"This bird," he cried, "my destined prize, 

'Tis not for thee to shield: 
'Tis mine by right and toilsome flight 

O'er hill and dale and field. 

Hunger and thirst oppress me sore. 

And I am faint with toil: 
Thou should'st not stay a bird of prey. 

Who claims his rightful spoil. 


98 R. T. H. GRIFFITH. 

They say thou art a glorious king, 

And justice is thy care; 
Then justly reign in thy domain, 

Nor rob the birds of air." 

Then cried the king : " A cow or deer 
For thee shall straightway bleed, 

Or let a ram or tender lamb 
Be slain, for thee to feed. 

Mine oath forbids me to betray 
My little twice-born guest: 

See, how she clings, with trembling wings. 
To her protector's breast." 

"No flesh of lambs," the hawk replied, 
"No blood of deer for me; 

The falcon loves to feed on doves. 
And such is Heaven's decree. 

But if affection for the dove 
Thy pitying heart has stirred, 

Let thine own flesh my maw refresh, 
Weighed down against the bird." 

He carved the flesh from off his side. 
And threw it in the scale. 

While women's cries smote on the skies 
With loud lament and wail. 

He hacked the flesh from side and arm, 
From chest and back and thigh, 

But still above the little dove ^ 
The monarch's scale stood high. 

He heaped the scale with piles of flesh. 
With sinews, blood, and skin. 

And when alone was left him bone 
He threw himself therein. 

R. T. H. GRIFFITH. 99 

Then thundered voices through the air; 

The sky grew black as night ; 
And fever took the earth that shook 

To see that wondrous sight. 

The blessed Gods, from every sphere, 

By Indra led, came nigh; 
While drum and flute and shell and lute 

Made music in the sky. 

They rained immortal chaplets down, 

Which hands celestial twine, 
And softly shed upon his head 

Pure Amrit, drink divine. 

Then God and Seraph, Bard and Nymph 

Their heavenly voices raised. 
And a glad throng with dance and song 

The glorious monarch praised. 

They set him on a golden car 

That blazed with many a gem ; 
Then swiftly through the air they flew. 

And bore him home with them. 

Thus Kasi's lord, by noble deed, 
Won Heaven and deathless fame; 

And when the weak protection seek 
From thee, do thou the same. 

The Rains. 

Who is this that driveth near. 
Heralded by sound of fear? 
Red his flag, the lightning's glare 
Flashing through the murky air : 
Pealing thunder for his drums, 
Royally the monarch comes. 

100 R. T. H. GRIFFITH. 

See, he rides, amid the crowd. 
On his elephant of cloud. 
Marshalling his kingly train : 
Welcome, O thou Lord of Rain! 
Gathered clouds as black as night 
Hide the face of heaven from sight, 
Sailing on their airy road. 
Sinking with their watery load; 
Pouring down a flood of tears ; 
Pleasant music to our ears. 
Woe to him whose love's away; 
He must mourn, while all are gay. 
Every cooling drop that flows 
Swells the torrent of his woes. 
If he raise his tearful eye, 
INDRA'S Bow, that spans the sky, 
Strung with lightning, hurls a dart 
Piercing through his lonely heart : 
For the clouds, in fancy's dream. 
Belted with the lightning's gleam. 
Conjure up the flashing zone 
Of the maid he calls his own ; 
And the lines of glory there 
Match the gems she loves to wear. 
Earth, what dame has gems like thine. 
When thy golden fire-flies shine? 
When thy buds of emerald green 
Deck the bosom of their Queen? 
Look upon the woods, and see 
Bursting with new life each tree. 
Look upon the river side, 
Where the fawns in lilies hide. 
See the peacocks hail the rain. 
Spreading wide their jewelled train: 
They will revel, dance, and play 
In their wildest joy to-day. 
What delight our bosom fills. 
As we gaze upon the hills 

R. T. H. GRIFFITH. 101 

Where those happy peacocks dance, 

And the silver streamlets glance, 

And the clouds, enamoured, rest, 

Like a crown, upon the crest 

Of that hill that fainting lay 

'Neath the burning summer ray. 

While the freshening streams they shed 

Glorify his woody head. 

Bees, that round the lily throng, 

Soothe us with their drowsy song; 

Towards the lotus-bed they fly; 

But the peacock, dancing by. 

Spreads abroad his train so fair. 

That they cling, deluded, there. 

Oh, that breeze ! his breath how cool ! 

He has fanned the shady pool: 

He has danced with bending flowers, 

And kissed them in the jasmine bowers; 

Every sweetest plant has lent 

All the riches of its scent, 

And the cloud who loves him flings 

Cooling drops upon his wings. 


Clive's Dream before the Battle of 


" The majority of the council pronounced against fighting, 
and Clive declared his concurrence with the majority. But scarcely 
had the meeting broken tip than he was himself again. He retired 
alone under the shade of some trees and passed near an hour there 
in thought. He came back determined to put everything to the 
hazard, and gave orders that all should be in readiness for passing 
the river on the morrow." — Macaulay. 

Beneath the thick old mang-o-trees the trunks are growing- 
black ; 

The night-hawk screams a bolder note, and wheels a wider 

track ; 

Far to the right, all ghastly white, thick tents are dimlv seen; 

Barbaric music faintly wails, the river runs between; 

All blood-red on the western verge the skirts of twilight lie, 

And two pale horns from the east go slowly up the sky. 

Who walks at such an hour in the strange garb of the Frank, 
And flings himself in gloomy guise on yonder grassy bank; 
And mutters oft — " 'Twere madness, sure, with such a force 

as ours. 
To bide the brunt while yet the Moor unbroken holds his 

In hope to gain Moorshedabad or Patna's distant towers ? " 
Sore labour has that leader proved, but toil has worn him less 
Than cares which weighed, and nigh dismayed his soul with 

their distress. 
For stronger is the chief to do, than steady to endure. 
And till to-day the swift with him has ever been the sure. 



But now is come a direr strait than e'er the little band 
Have known since first their venturous feet have trod this 

foreign strand; 
The blood-stained rake, the tiger-prince, that laid their city 

And slew their best and bravest by a cold-blood coward's 

blow — 
He marches now with all his force, and boasts, in drunken glee, 
To drive the pale-faced traders down before him to the sea; 
And well may those stout strangers rest content his speed 

to stay, 
Or trust to wait till cools his hate, or his armies melt away. 

Now sinks the din from either camp, and not a sound is heard 
Except the roar of hungry beast, or scream of prowling bird ; 
And Clive still lies extended ; but no more he mutters now, 
For sleep has sealed his weary eyes, and soothed his aching 


What changing cloud, what wreathing shapes float through 

that slumberer's breast? 
What voices of vague augury, rejoicing or distrest? 
While underneath and over all the tissue is of gore. 
The crimson coat, the meteor flag, the hue of England's war. 
The tiger-prince flies fast away, the foe shout in his rear. 
The echo falls on Delhi's walls, and rocky Jessulmere; 
The wild Mahratta hosts are broke, the proud Rohilla yields ; 
High kings are bending on their thrones, and peasants in 

their fields. 

See Wellesley in deathless fight, see beams of glory take 
The comely head of Combermere, the gallant crest of Lake, 
The bayonet-push, the sabre-charge, through every realm 

of Ind, 
From far Nepal to Cabul's heights and plains of sunny Sindh; 
The red flood creeps from east to west, as goes the mighty 

To where in disappointment turned the hosts of Macedon; 
From Martaban, from Comorin, to where Hydaspes flows. 
Or holy Himalaya hoards her immemorial snows. 


Sunlike it creeps ; a flood of light, with blessings in its train ; 
The darkened land, the barren land, shall ne'er be so again. 
O Western light ! O light of blood ! O hue of England's war ! 
He starts to life with sudden bound, to speak of peace no more. 
" Ho ! call the chiefs ; ho ! bid the men to gather on the lawn, 
Prepare the boats — in silence all — we cross before the dawn." 
But those who heard the welcome word, still wondered that 

he said — 
"Perplexed, I ween, my rest has been, but God is for the 


Drinking No Sin. 

Let no good soul be thirsty, 

While I have wine to spare. 
Let no brave heart be careful, 

While I am free from care. 
So bring the jugs and glasses 

And let the lads come in; 
There's not a man of all their clan 

Who thinks good liquor a sin. 

The Captain must have brandy 

To warm his ancient blood; 
The Doctor likes his negus 

And be sure you make it good; 
But the red red wine of Bordeaux 

The parson's praise will win. 
For he's not the man that will, or can 

Pronounce good liquor a sin. 

The fire unto the wine, boys, 

A merrier lustre lends, 
As, basking in its sunshine. 

We drink to absent friends ; 
For morning, or repentance, 

We will not care a pin; 
There's not a man of all our clan 

Who makes his liquor a sin. 


The Song of Kalindi. 

The fresh wind blows from northern snows; 

The nights are dank with dew; 
A mound of fire the Simal glows ; 

The young rice shoots anew; 
In mornings cool from reedy pool 

Up springs the whistling crane ; 
The wild fowl fly through sunset sky; 

The sweet juice fills the cane. 
Come, Krishna, from the tyrant proud 

How long shall virtue flee? 
The lightning loves the evening cloud, 

And I love thee. 

The breeze moves slow with thick perfume 

From every mango grove; 
Prom coral tree to parrot bloom 

The black bees questing rove ; 
The koil wakes the early dawn, 

He calls the spring all day; 
The jasmine smiles by glade and lawn; 

The lake with buds is gay. 
Come, Krishna! leave Vaikuntha's bower; 

Do thou our refuge be ; 
The koil loves the mango flower. 

And I love thee. 

Low from the brink the waters shrink; 

The deer all sniff for rain: 
The panting cattle search for drink 

Cracked glebe and dusty plain ; 


The whirlwind, like a furnace blast, 

Sweeps clouds of darkening sand; 
The forest flames ; the beasts aghast 

Plunge huddling from the land. 
Come, Krishna! come, beloved one! 

Descend and comfort me : 
The lotus loves the summer sun, 

And I love thee. 

With dancing feet glad pea-fowl greet 

Bright flash and rumbling cloud; 
Down channels steep red torrents sweep; 

The frogs give welcome loud; 
From branch and spray hang blossoms gay ; 

The wood has second birth ; 
No stars in skies, but lantern-flies 

Seem stars that float to earth. 
Come, Krishna ! in our day of gloom 

Be thou our Kalpa tree : 
The wild bee loves the Padma bloom, 

And I love thee. 

The skies are bright with cloudless light, 

Like silver shells that float ; 
The stars and moon loom large by night; 

The lilies launch their boat; 
Fair laughs the plain with ripened grain ; 

With birds resounds the brake: 
Along the sand white egrets stand; 

The wild fowl fill the lake. 
Come, Krishna ! let thy servants soon 

Thy perfect beauty see: 
The water-lily loves the moon. 

And I love thee. 

The morning mist lies close and still ; 

The hoar-frost gems the lea ; 
The dew falls chill ; the wind blows shrill ; 

The leaves have left the tree ; 


The crops are gone ; the fields are bare ; 

The deer pass grazing by; 
And plaintive through the twilight air 

Is heard the curlew's cry. 
Come, Krishna ! come, my lord, my own ! 

From prison set me free : 
The chakravaki pines alone, 

As I for thee. 

The Song of the Koil. 

O youths and maidens rise and sing! 

The Koil is come who leads the Spring: 

The buds that were sleeping his voice have heard, 

And the tale is borne on by each nesting bird. 

The trees of the forest have all been told; 
They have donned their m< ntles of scarlet and gold; 
To welcome him back they are bravely dressed, 
But he loves the blossoming mango best. 

The Koil is come, glad news to bring! 
On the blossoming mango he rests his wing; 
Though its hues may be dull, it is sweet, oh! sweet, 
And its shade and its fruit the wanderer greet. 

The Koil is come, and the forests ring: 
He has called aloud to awake the Spring, 
Spring the balmy, the friend of Love, 
The bodiless god who reigns above. 

Oh ! sad were the hearts of the gods that day 
When the worlds all mourned the oppressor's sway; 
When the oracle promised deliverance none 
Till Shiva the wrathful should lend his son. 


But archly does young-eyed Kama smile 

On those who would foil him by force or by guile; 

And his keenest shaft to the string he laid, 

As he called to that presence the mountain-maid. 

The love-shaft flew from the bow-string fast, 
As the child of the snows in her beauty passed; 
And the cream-white lotus blushed rosy red 
Where the blood of the god from his wound was shed. 

Oh! sharp is the arrowy blossom's smart, 
For the mango flower ne'er missed the heart; 
And the work of the gods is fairly done, 
And help shall arise out of Shiva's son. 

But woe for that image of loveliness, woe! 
Which the worlds of creation no longer shall know; 
In Shiva's first wrath at the breach of his vow, 
Consumed by the flame-darting eye of his brow. 

But the flames could not weaken Immortal Might; 
He is born in the heart in the spring-time bright. 
Whose is the breast where the god shall dwell? 
O youths and maidens, you can tell. 

IS35— 1911 


Mors Janua Vitae. 

I am the God of the sensuous fire 

That moulds all Nature in forms divine; 

The symbols of death and of man's desire, 

The springs of change in the world, are mine; 

The organs of birth and the circlet of bones, 

And the light loves carved on the temple stones. 

I am the lord of delights and pain, 

Of the pest that killeth, of fruitful joys; 

I rule the currents of heart and vein; 
A touch gives passion, a look destroys; 

In the heat and cold of my lightest breath 

Is the might incarnate of Lust and Death. 

If a thousand altars stream with blood 

Of the victims slain by the chanting priest, 

Is a great God lured by the savoury food? 
I reck not of worship, or song, or feast; 

But that millions perish, each hour that flies, 

Is the mystic sign of my sacrifice. 

Ye may plead and pray for the millions born ; 

They come like dew on the morning grass; 
Your vows and vigils I hold in scorn. 

The soul stays never, the stages pass; 
All life is the play of the power that stirs 
In the dance of my wanton worshippers. 



And the strong swift river my shrine below, 
It runs, like man, its unending course 

To the boundless sea from eternal snow; 
Mine is the Fountain — and mine the Force 

That spurs all nature to ceaseless strife ; 

And my image is Death at the gates of Life. 

In many a legend and many a shape, 

In the solemn grove and the crowded street, 

I am the Slayer whom none escape; 

I am Death trod under a fair girl's feet; 

I govern the tides of the sentient sea 

That ebbs and flows to eternity. 

And the sum of the thought and the knowledge of man 
Is the secret tale that my emblems tell; 

Do ye seek God's purpose, or trace His plan? 
Ye may read your doom in my parable: 

For the circle of life in its flower and its fall 

Is the writing that runs on my temple wall. 

O Race that labours, and seeks, and strives, 
With thy faith, thy wisdom, thy hopes and fears, 

Where now is the future of myriad lives? 

Where now is the creed of a thousand years? 

Far as the Western spirit may range, 

It finds but the travail of endless change; 

For the earth is fashioned by countless suns, 
And planets wander, and stars are lost, 

As the rolling flood of existence runs 
From light to shadow, from fire to frost. 

Your search is ended, ye hold the keys 

Of my inmost ancient mysteries. 

Now that your hands have lifted the veil, 

And the crowd may know what my symbols mean, 

Will not the faces of men turn pale 

At the sentence heard, and the vision seen 

Of strife and sleep, of the soul's brief hour, 

And the careless tread of unyielding Power? 


Though the world repent of its cruel youth, 
And in age grow soft, and its hard law bend, 

Ye may spare or slaughter; by rage or ruth 
All forms speed on to the far still end; 

For the gods who have mercy, who save or bless, 

Are the visions of man in his hopelessness. 

Let my temples fall, they are dark with age, 
Let my idols break, they have stood their day; 

On their deep hewn stones the primeval sage 
Has figured the spells that endure alway; 

My presence may vanish from river and grove, 

But I rule for ever in Death and Love. 

The Land of Regrets. 

" Yea, they thought scorn of that pleasant land." 

What far-reaching Nemesis steered him 

From his home by the cool of the sea? 
When he left the fair country that reared him, 

When he left her, his mother, for thee, 
That restless, disconsolate worker 

Who strains now in vain at thy nets, 
O sultry and sombre Noverca! 

O Land of Regrets! 

^What lured him to life in the tropic? 

Did he venture for fame or for pelf? 
Did he seek a career philanthropic? 

Or simply to better himself? 
But whate'er the temptation that brought him, 

Whether piety, dullness, or debts. 
He is thine for a price, thou hast bought him, 

O Land of Regrets! 


He did list to the voice of a siren, 

He was caught by the clinking of gold. 

And the slow toil of Europe seemed tiring. 

And the grey of his fatherland cold; 

He must haste to the gardens of Circe ; 
What ails him, the slave, that he frets 

In thy service? O Lady sans merci ! 
O Land of Regrets ! 

From the East came the breath of its odours 

And its heat melted soft in the haze, 
While he dimly descried thy pagodas, 

O Cybele, ancient of days; 
Heard the hum of thy mystic processions, 

The echo of myriads who cry. 
And the wail of their vain intercessions, 

Through the bare empty vault of the sky. 

Did he read of the lore of thy sages? 

Of thy worships by mountain and flood? 
Did he muse o'er thy annals? the pages 

All blotted with treason and blood; 
Thy chiefs and thy dynasties reckon? 

Thy armies — he saw them come forth 
O'er the wide stony wolds of the Dekhan, 

O'er the cities and plains of the North. 

He was touched with the tales of our glory. 

He was stirred by the clash and the jar 
Of the nations who kill con amore. 

The fury of races at war; 
'Mid the crumbling of royalties rotting. 

Each cursed by a knave or a fool. 
Where kings and fanatics are plotting, 
He dreamt of a power and a rule; 
Hath he come now, in season, to know theer 

Hath he seen, what a stranger forgets. 
All the graveyards of exiles below thee, 

O Land of Regrets! 


Has he learnt how thy honours are rated? 

Has he cast his accounts in thy school? 
With the sweets of authority sated, 

Would he give up his throne to be cool? 
Doth he curse Oriental romancing, 

And wish he had toiled all his day, 
At the Bar, or the Banks, or financing. 

And got damned in a common-place way? 

Thou hast racked him with duns and diseases. 

And he lies, as thy scorching winds blow, 
Recollecting old England's sea breezes 

On his back in a lone bungalow; 
At the slow coming darkness repining, 

How he girds at the sun till it sets, 
As he marks the long shadows declining 

O'er the Land of Regrets. 

Let him cry, as thy blue devils seize him, 

O step-mother, careless as Fate, 
He may strive from thy bonds to release him. 

Thou hast passed him his sentence — Too Late; 
He has found what a blunder his youth is. 

His prime what a struggle, and yet 
Has to learn of old age what the truth is 

In the Land of Regret. 

The Old Pindaree. 

Allah is great, my children, and kind to a slave like me ; 
The great man's tent is gone from under the peepul tree : 
With his horde of hungry retainers, and oil-fed slaves of the 

quill ; 
I paid them the bribes they wanted, and Satan may settle my 



It's not that I care for the money, or expect a dog to be clean, 
If I were lord of the ryots, they'd starve ere I grew lean; 
But I'd sooner be robbed by a tall man who showed me a yard 

of steel, 
Than be fleeced by a sneaking Baboo, with a belted knave at 

his heel. 

There goes my lord the Feringhee, who talks so civil and 

Till he raves like a soul in Jehannum if I don't quite under- 
stand ; 

He begins by calling me Sahib, and ends by calling me Fool ; 

He has taken my old sword from me, and tells me to set up a 
school ; 

Set up a school in the village ! " And my wishes are," says he, 
" That you make the boys learn reg'lar, or you'll get a lesson 

from me "; 
Well, Ramlal the oilman spites me, and pounded my cow last 

rains ; 
He's got three greasy young urchins ; I'll see that they take 


Then comes a Settlement Hakim, to teach us to plough and to 

(I sowed the cotton he gave me, but first I boiled the seed) : 
He likes us humble farmers, and speaks so gracious and wise 
As he asks of our manners and customs ; I tell him a parcel 

of lies. 

" Look," says the school Feringhee, " what a silly old man 

you be, 
"You can't read, write, nor cypher, and your grandsons do 

all three; 
" They total the shopman's figures, and reckon the tenaqt's 

" And read good books about London and the world before 

you were born." 


Well, I may be old and foolish, for I've seventy years well told, 
And the Franks have ruled me forty, so my heart and my 

hand's got cold ; 
Good boys they are, my grandsons, I know, but they'll never 

be men, 
Such as I was at twenty-five when the sword was king of the 


When I rode a Dekhani charger, with the saddle-cloth gold- 

And a Persian sword, and twelve foot spear, and a pistol at 
my waist : 

My son ! He keeps a pony, and I grin to see him astride, 

Jogging away to the market, swaying from side to side. 

My father was an Afghan, and came from Kandahar : 
He rode with Nawab Amir Khan in the old Maratha war : 
From the Dekhan to the Himalay, five hundred of one clan, 
They asked no leave of prince or chief as they swept thro' 
Hindusthan ; 

My mother was a Brahminee, but she clave to my father well ; 
She was saved from the sack of Juleysur, when a thousand 

Hindus fell ; 
Her kinsmen died in the sally ; so she followed where he went. 
And lived like a bold Pathani in the shade of a rider's tent. 

It's many a year gone by now ; and yet I often dream 

Of a long dark march to the Jumna, of splashing across the 

Of the waning moon on the water, and the spears in the dim 

As I rode in front of my mother, and wondered at all the sight. 

Then, the streak of the pearly dawn — the flash of a sentinel's 

The gallop and glint of horsemen who wheeled in the level 

The shots in the clear still morning, the white smoke's 

eddying wreath ; 
Is this the same land that I live in, the dull dank air that I 



But the British chased Amir Khan, and the roving times must 

My father got this village, and he sowed his crops in peace; 
And I, so young and hot of blood, I had no land or wife, 
So I took to the hills of Malwa, and the free Pindaree life. 

Praise to the name Almighty! there is no God but one! 
Mahomed is his prophet, and his will shall ever be done ; 
Ye shall take no use for your money, nor your faith for a 

ransom sell ; 
Ye shall make no terms with the infidel, but smite his soul 

to hell. 

Tell me, ye men of Islam, who are rotting in shameful ease, 
Who wrangle before the Feringhee for a poor man's last 

Are ye better than were your fathers, who plundered with 

old Cheetoo, 
And who fleeced the greedy traders, as the traders now fleece 


Yes, and here's one of them coming, my father gave him a bill; 
I have paid the man twice over, and here I'm paying him still ; 
He shows me a long stamp-paper, and must have my land, 

must he? 
If I were twenty years younger he'd get six feet by three. 

And if I were forty years younger, with my life before me to 

I wouldn't be lectured by Kafirs, or bullied by fat Hindoos ; 
But I'd go to some far-ofif country where Musalmans still 

are men, 
Or take to the jungle, like Cheetoo, and die in the tiger's den. 



A Lay of Lachen. 

The purple shadows upward crept 

On Sikkim's mountains blue, 
The snows their solemn vigil kept 

Those stately watchers true. 
The frosted peaks of Chola gleamed. 

Broken and bare and bold, 
On the glittering crest of Kinchin streamed 

The sun-light clear and cold. 
The fleeting clouds brief shadows flung 
On mighty Junnoo's brow, or hung 

On Pindim's forehead near; 
And Donkia's beetling bastions frowned 
A silent warning far around : 

No foot may venture here. 

The light air bore the sullen roar 

Of Rungit rushing by ; 
And Bengal's Lord in thought was deep 
As he gazed across the mountains steep 

And he spake his counsel high : — 
'* No travellers come from far Tibet, 
From the mystic land no tidings yet 

For many a month are sent ; 
No more the tinkling bells ring clear ; 

On Lingtu's heights, by Bedden's mere; 
On Jelep's path no step resounds 
No smoke at even upward bounds 

From weary trader's tent. 



Do thou, Macaulay, ready make, 
To Sikkim's Chief my greeting take 
And see his father's solemn pact 
Is true fulfilled in word and act. 
And hie thee to the frontier far. 
Journey towards the Northern Star, 
Speak fair the Lord of Kambajong 
And seek his friendship new : 
The path is steep, the road is long, 
But the purpose high and true. 
Say that you cross the snow drifts sad 
But to seek the grasp of friendship's hand, 
We wish but the welfare of the land 
To make both peoples glad." 

Macaulay took his Chief's commands, 
And, for that the city was long and steep. 
And the ice was thick and the snow was deep. 
And the wind that blows across the sands 

Of Tartary is biting keen. 

He called companions three 

To go with him across the sheen 

Of the snow fields wild and free. 
First genial Evans — wisest he 
Of all wise lawyers, and his place 
At Bar and Board is ever high, — 
Sage in council, for a space 
Fled from the wiles of Dorson's race 

And Rent Bill papers dry. 
To breathe the air of Sikkim free, 
To wander by her purling rills 

And seek the beauty of her hills 

The blueness of her sky. 

And Paul who Sikkim loves so well 

That still the native chieftains tell, 
With kindly smile and grasp of hand, 
That of the Sahib log who cross 


The Rungit's silver fall, 
None know the story of their land, 
None can its meaning understand, 

As does that Sahib tall. 

And cheery Gordon, blithe and gay, 
Sang as they toiled along the way 

To Tibet's frontier far; 
That soldier minstrel whose guitar 
By Lachen's stream or Lushai hill 
Has often cheered the camp, and still 

Is heard in Cooch Behar. 
And in the vales of Sikkim lone, 
As gay he bought her brooch or zone. 
Did many a maiden fair 
Sigh, as she brushed a tear away, 
" He will not buy what eke he may ; 
"He buys all things throughout the land. 
" Oh, would he only buy my hand, 

" That soldier debonnair ! " 

And Sarat Chandra, hardy son 

Of soft Bengal, whose wondrous store 
Of Buddhist and Tibetan lore 

A place in fame's bright page has won, 
Friend of the Tashu Lama's line, 

Whose eyes have seen the gleaming shrine 

Of holy Lhassa, came to show 

The wonders of the land of snow. 

They journeyed over steep Tendong, 

And through the vale of Teesta fair, 
By Shilling's slopes and Yeung's Mendong, 

And Kubbi's smiling pastures rare 

And Ryott's roaring falls. 
To where, high perched on Mafi's breast 

With banners gay and brazen crest, 

Shone Sikkimputti's halls. 


Right royal welcome Sikkim gave, 
With high carouse and banquets brave, 
And many a pledge of right good-will, 
And many a promise new 
His compact ever to fulfil 
And prove his fealty true : 
And to the Lord of Kambajong 
Swift messengers he sent : 
" Lo, o'er the hills to Giagong, 
" By Lachen's vale and Phalkmg's snows, 
" From great Bengal an envoy goes, 
" To greet thee in his tent." 

And leaving Sikkim's halls, the four 
O'er Mafi's hill, by Ringun's rill 
'Neath stately Gnarim's summit hoar, 
By Namga's shades and Chakoong's glades. 

And rapid Teesta's rocky shore 

And Choongtam's marshes low. 
And fairy Lachen's forests green, 
And boiling Zemu's silver sheen, 
And cherished still of Hooker's name, 

Travelled till they the torrent crossed 

At Tullum Samdong hard in frost 
And Tungu deep in snow. 

The moon to nearly full had grown 
Ere they the frontier cold and lone 
Did reach, where wind swept Giagong 
Near twice six thousand cubits sheer, 
O'er India's plains and peoples' throng 
Lies white and chill and drear 
'Twixt Kinchinjow and Chomiom. 
No man or beast may make his home 
That barren snow-field near. 


The day was waning, and the crest 
Of Chomiomo paler grew, 

As sank the sun into the west 
And ever lengthening shadows threw 
The giants hoar between. 

The north wind sharp and sharper blew, 

The frost was piercing keen ; 
Night followed day, but still no sound 
Was heard the silent snow drift round 

Of coming foot-steps, and no light 
Of lantern or of torch did peer 

Across the waste of gleaming white 

To say that help was near. 

No light had they, nor drink, nor meat 
Nor could they forward go or back; 
The drifts were deep around the track. 
The snow was thick around the feet; 
And night like a funeral pall lay black 

On a snow winding sheet. 
The moon rose slow, and pale, and sad 

O'er the royal crest of Kinchinjow, 
And Chomiomo's peak was clad 

In the light that bathed his icy brow; 
And a shimmering moonbeam sad caressed 

Her white still face and summit proud 
As they laid their weary limbs to rest 

On her silent spreading shroud. 

At length that awful night was past, 
No more they shuddered 'neath the blast; 
The morning smiled across the wild, 

And the tentsmen followed fast. 
Down Kongralamo's snowy waste 

The Yaks with stately movement paced. 
And five score swordsmen's weapons glanced 

As Kamba's chieftain grave advanced 
The mystic chorion past. 


And in Macaulay's tent that day, 

In high durbar and bright array, 
With welcome glad and presents fair, 

Was Bengal's greeting told. 
And Kamba's Lord did oft declare 

That Tibet's people fain would dare' 
The dangers of the road, to see 

Victoria's Empire, rich and rare, 
Of mighty Tara regent she. 

And with her happy people free 
Would friendly converse hold. 

Next day with many a greeting kind 
And many a pledge of friendship true 
They parted; and the wondrous blue 
Of Tibet's sky was left behind. 
And at the Yule-tide far away, 
As sweet young faces wondering gaze, 
When downward fall the ashes grey 
And upward leaps the yellow blaze. 
Those comrades four may tell the tale 
Of how they trod fair Lachen's vale, 
So lovely and so long. 
And how they braved the withering gale 
And lay beneath the snowpeaks pale 
At lonely Giagong. 


The Successful Competitor— 1863. 

Oh ! for the palmy days, the days of old ! 

When Writers revelled in barbaric gold: 
When each auspicious smile secured a gem 
From Merchant's store or Raja's diadem ; 
When 'neath the pankha frill the Court reclined, 
When Amlah wrote and Judges only signed; 
Or lordlier still, beneath a virgin space 
Inscribed their names and hied them to the chase ! 

Chained to the desk, the worn Civilian now 
Clears his parched throat and wipes his weary brow; 
Bound by his oath at every boor's behest 
To hear, examine, sift, record, attest. 
Recite the whole in dialect uncouth. 
And dive in wells of perjury for truth ! 

Toil as he may, his guerdon is the same — 
The scantest praise, the largest meed of blame. 
Acquit? And brave the Superintendent's curse? 
Convict? To see a dubious Judge reverse? 
Commit? An Aryan jury will ignore; 
For does not Kali gloat on human gore? 

What tho' Assessors fail to find a flaw, 
And trust the Judge alike for facts and law; 
Tho' link in link of evidence appear — 
Proof piled on proof make clearer and more clear 
The prisoner's guilt — the bland High Court shines out 
More skilled than Eldon in the art of doubt; 
And as the German limner sought to find 
Within the hidden chambers of his mind 



A Camel — so the Court expects to trace 
In past experience every present case ; 
'Twixt right and wrong an even balance keeps, 
The prisoner is released — and Justice weeps. 
(Ye Powers! I trust the freedom of my pen 
Is covered by Exceptions One to Ten). 

Who shall suffice by instinct or by tact 
To thread the mazes of the Squatter's Act, 
Enforcing mushroom rights with jealous care, 
Yet guarding pauper landlords from despair? 
Neglect " demand," and overlook " supply," 
Gaze on pure equity with heaven-lit eye. 
And without line or plummet, rule or square. 
Evolve the only rent precisely " fair." 

Who shall suffice his anger to restrain 
When daily, hourly, called on to explain : 
" Explain why this was entered, that omitted, 
" Why A was flogged, and B and C acquitted. 
" Since no efficient officer will fail 
" In close attention to minute detail, 
" Note whence this shameful error of three pai, 
" And why Ram Chandra did not dot an ' i ' ; 
"Whether he met with punishment condign, 
"And, if you fined him, when he paid the fine. 
"If not, why not? Write, in three days at most, 
" (This first acknowledged by return of post) 
" Whether you think the principle should be 
" Applied to all who fail to cross a * t.' 

"A figured statement carefully prepare 
" To show each prisoner's weight and daily fare ; 
" Kiss the Jail Code, and certify and swear." 

'Tis not enough in this insatiate age 
That pleas and argument our cares engage; 
'Tis not enough the solid hours to waste 
Among conflicting precedents and paste ; 
'Tis not enough to watch the turning scale 
And check each seer of gunny in the Jail; 


To penetrate the city's slums and sinks ; 

Concocting bye-laws subtler than the stinks ; 

O'er emigrants an angel-guard to keep, 

Harangue them on the dangers of the deep, 

Or temper gilded visions of Cachar, 

By painting jails and jungles as they are ; 

(Alas ! I watch the vanishing Rupee 

Worth but one-third the rice it used to be, 

And wish that Wood had been as frank with me !) 

'Tis not enough — but how shall I portray 

The legion labours of a single day? 

Is it for this that Granta bade me seek 

To mould Ben Jonson in Iambic Greek, 

Condense my prose, like Tacitus the terse. 

And rival Ovid's elegance in verse? 

Cull roots with Donaldson, weigh words with Trench; 

Read, write and talk Italian, German, French; 

P.epair to town in pestilent July, 

When dogs were rabid, and the Thames half dry, 

Abjuring bat and racket, oar and cue, 

To spend three weeks disgorging all I knew? 

Alas ! my Muse, it boots not to complain ; 
Who shall restore a service on the wane? 
No longer wooed by fame, or power, or pay, 
Isis and Granta proudly turn away. 
Ho! Tinkers, come, and Tailors, share the feast! 
I bid you welcome to the gorgeous East! 
My die is cast. I can but vent my spleen. 
And yield me victim to my fate — Routine. 

Twenty O'clock. 

I cannot exactly say how it arises — 
I am always the victim of startling surprises; 
And now I've just suffered a terrible shock! 
I'm asked out to dinner at twenty o'clock ! 


I'm an elderly man, of conservative turn, 
Content to remember, not eager to learn; 
I like institutions as firm as a rock; 
What ails her to talk about twenty o'clock? 

We prate about progress ; it flatters our pride ; 
Yet we are but the playthings of cycle and tide ; 
We only return, if the truth be admitted. 
To walk in the ways that our grandfathers quitted. 

When clocks were invented, they made them to 

From one up to twenty-four hours at a time ; 
And cuckoos, who cuckoo two dozen at a go 
Still linger, I hear, in the Canton of Vaud. 

A truce to lamenting! It's vain to repine; 
The world will not alter its notions for mine ; 
So listen a little, and let me take stock 
Of things atavistic like twenty o'clock. 

I hear Sarah Battle inviting the throng 
Short whist to abandon in favour of long ; 
While Handel in smiles from a corner in heaven 
Sees Sullivan's score on a stave of eleven. 

Ere long shall the glory of Oscar be past 
With pseudo-aesthetics too sickly to last; 
And artists like those of a healthier age 
Paint lilies and roses for sun-flower and sage. 

Nor less will our sportsmen, if worthy the name, 
Vote battues and beaters unmanly and tame ; 
And a flask and slow matches for cartridge and 

Will find us a pheasant for twenty o'clock. 

The dinner I'm asked to, I'm able to state, 
Will be plainer and better than dinners of late ; 
And ale and metheglin, not Chablis or Hock, 
Will wash down our sirloin at twenty o'clock. 


It's striking nineteen ! I must send for my man. 
And hasten my dressing, and hail a sedan; 
I'm off ! at the door of my hostess to knock 
At exactly five minutes to twenty o'clock. 

Promotion by Merit. 

Where kin or friendship gives a lien 
Surpassing merit is detected ; 

Which, teste Darvv^in, comes to mean 
Extinction of the unselected. 

On a Station in Lower Bengal. 

Our church as at present it stands 
Has no congregation, nor steeple; 
The lands are all low-lying lands 
And the people are low lying people. 

The Successful Competitor- 1873< 

Oh palmy days of old ! Oh glorious past ! 
Long years have circled since I sang thee last; 
Long years of exile on an alien soil, 
Where weeks of fever temper months of toil ; 
And still I mourn the land, to woes a prey, 
Where tape accumulates, and men decay. 

I mourn the rule the Magistrate of yore, 
A fostering despot o'er his people bore; 
He reigned supreme within his little State, 
His smile shed honour, and his frown was fate. 
Prompt with the rifle, niggard of the pen, 
By manly deeds he won the hearts of men ; 
His watchful eye each rival chieftain viewed, 
And oftener calmed than curbed the rising feud. 
He knew the intense devotion that reveres 
Each usage hallowed by a thousand years ; 


Nor sought to substitute with ruthless hand 

The aHen systems o£ a distant land. 

Friend of the people, in their midst he moved, 

To all familiar and by all beloved; 

And those who gathered prattling where he came, 

Grey-headed now, still gossip of his name. 

:): ^ H: 4: 4: 

For the good Magistrate, our Rulers say, 
Decides all night, investigates all day; 
The crack Collector, man of equal might, 
Reports all day, and corresponds all night. 
Oh, could I raise my fascinated eyes 
From Salt, Stamps, Cesses, Income-Tax, Excise, 
Or quit the bench, and loose my courser's rein. 
To scour observant o'er the teeming plain. 
Could I, with Janus, boast a double face 
Incongruous scenes alternately to grace, 
To twin tribunals twin delights afford. 
Please the High Court, and gratify the Board — 
Then all were well ; and I might touch the goal, 
A square, round, man within a round, square, hole. 





Over the valley, over the level, 

Through the wide jungle we'll ride like the devil! 

Hark ! for'ard a boar ! Away we go, 

Sit down and ride straight. Tally-ho! Tally-ho! 

He's a true-bred one, none of your jinking. 
Straight across country, no time for thinking. 
The nullah in front yawns deep as hell, 
But the boar's gone through — we must go as well. 

The ditches and banks are wide and steep. 
The earth is rotten, the water deep; 
The boldest horseman holds his breath, 
But he must cross it to see the death. 

Over we go, the game's nearly done. 
The field is gaining, the race is won ; 
An arm upraised, then a dash, a cheer 
And the boar has felt the deadly spear. 

See how he flashes his fiery eye 

Ready to charge, to cut and die ; 

A boar that will charge like the light brigade 

Is the bravest brute that e'er was made. 

Swiftly he rushes panting and blowing, 
Swifter the life-blood torrents are flowing. 
Game to the last with defiant eye 
In silent courage he falls to die. 

Gentlemen, I won't detain you a minute, 

I hope every glass has got something in it ; 

Come fill them up with a bumper more, 

Are your glasses charged? Mr. Vice, the Boar! 

129 9 



Over the valley and over the level 
Through the v^^ide jungle we'll ride like the devil. 
There's a nullah in front and a boar as well ; 
Sit down in your saddles and ride like hell. 


Pledge me woman's lovely face, 
Beaming eye and bosom fair — 
Every soft and winning grace, 
Sweetly blended sparkles there. 
Is there one whose sordid soul 
Beauty's form hath ne'er adored? 
From his cold lip dash the bowl, 
Spurn him from the festal board. 

Pledge me next the glorious chase, 
When the mighty boar's ahead. 
He, the noblest of the race. 
In the mountain jungle bred 
Swifter than the slender deer 
Bounding over Deccan's plain, 
Who can stay his proud career. 
Who can hope his tusks to gain? 

Pledge me those who oft have won 
Tusked trophies from the foe. 
And in many a famous run. 
Many a gallant hog laid low. 
Who, on Peeplah's steepy height, 
And on Gunga's tangled shore, 
Oft again will dare the fight 
With the furious jungle boar. 



Fill the goblet to the brim, 
Fill with me and drink to him 
Who the mountain sport pursues. 
Speed the boar where'er he choose ; 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! one bumper more, 
A bumper to the grim grey boar! 

Hark, the beater's shout on high! 
Hark, the hunter's shrill reply ! 
Echo leaps from hill to hill. 
There the chase is challenge still ! 
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more. 
A bumper to the sturdy boar ! 

Ride for now the sounder breaks, 
Ride where'er the grey boar takes. 
Struggle through the desperate chase, 
Reckless death itself to face; 
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more, 
A bumper to the fearless boar! 

See, the jungle verge is won. 
See, the grey boar dashing on! 
Bold and brave ones now are nis"h. 
See him stagger, charge and die; 
Hurrah! Hurrah! one bumper more, 
A bumper to the fallen boar! 



A Note on "Starboard Watch, Ahoy!" 

James Silk Buckingham (1786-1855), whose song is re- 
produced on page 43, was one of the pioneers of Anglo- 
Indian journalism. He came to India in 1815 ; and three years 
later he started the Calcutta Journal. His attacks on Govern- 
ment resulted in his deportation in 1823. He became 
Member of Parliament for Sheffield (1832-37), and successfully 
conducted a case against the East India Company, compelling 
the grant of a pension of £200 as compensation for his depor- 
tation and the loss of his journal. He began life as a sailor; 
and when serving on the West Indian route, he had the follow- 
ing curious experience related in his autobiography from 
which originated his popular song: 

" I felt it my duty to remain on deck all night, keeping 
three watches in succession instead of one, and that too after 
a most fatiguing day in getting the ship fairly out of port. 
My fatigue was such as to reduce me almost to a state of 
insensibility ; though, when the morning broke upon us, and 
I heard the welcome sound of " Starboard watch, ahoy !" — 
the summons for relief from the duty of the deck — I seemed 
to feel a thrill of delight which gave me new life, though for 
a few moments only. And here I must record a singular 
psychological fact, unique in my own experience, though 
since appeari \g to me, from what I have seen in others, to 
partake of the nature of a short mesmeric trance. 

The log slate was brought to me by the boy entrusted 
with this dut /, to enter the course and distance steered, and 
the usual re: narks of the watch for subsequent entry into 
the regular log book of the ship. I was then seated in my 
own berth, intending to turn in and get some rest : and I 
sat with my pea-jacket still on, and wet to the skin from the 
constant squalls of wind and rain during the night. I made 
the proper entries with the pencil and fell asleep seated on 
the chest in my berth, with the slate in my hand : and four 
hours afterwards, when it was my turn to be on deck, I was 
found in that position, sleeping almost as heavily as death. 



Being roused by constant shaking, I changed my wet clothes 
and went on deck to resume my duty. 

It is customary at sea for the log slate to be handed to the 
officer who has charge of the log book to transfer the entries 
from the one to the other; after which the slate has to be 
cleaned and hung up in its usual place under the companion 
hatchway for the entries of the ensuing watch. When the 
second officer had made his entries therefore, he cleaned that 
side of the slate, but on turning to the other, he found some 
verses there, which he knew to be in my handwriting, and 
he brought the slate to me, to know whether this might be 
cleaned ofif also. I was perfectly amazed at what I saw ; the 
writing was certainly mine : and the words forming the 
heading of the verses, " Starboard watch, ahoy !" I well 
remembered as having caused me a thrill of inexpressible 
delight ; but of the lines that followed, I had not the most 
distant recollection. They had emanated, it was clear, from 
my brain, and expressed no doubt the genuine feelings of the 
moment : but I was as utterly unconscious of their being 
written by me, as a clairvoyant in a mesmeric trance is of 
what has been said and uttered during its existence, after 
he has been awakened from it. The lines, however, were 
copied by me from the slate, on paper, and when shown, 
after our return to England, to Mr. Dale, a music-seller in 
the Poultry, he thought they would become popular as a sea- 
song if set to music. He accordingly engaged Mr. Charles 
Horn, then a rising young composer, to execute this task. 
It was published by Mr. Dale, — had a good run, — was sung 
at several places of public entertainment, — and from a 
printed copy of the words and music now in my possession, 
I am able to present the following version of this 
unconsciously written effusion. 


University of California 


305 De Neve Drive - Parking Lot 17 • Box 951388 


Return this material to the library from whichi it was borrowed. 




Form L9-50 


AA 000 298 977